Maximizing Technology at Liberty-Eylau ISD
When Stormy Cullum joined the Liberty-Eylau ISD team as the District Instructional Technology Coordinator, she saw a need to focus on implementation to ensure her district was getting the most out of their technology curriculum investment. To stay compliant with their own Texas state technology standards and meet CIPA requirements, Cullum knew they had to strategize ways to deliver the required curriculum to students.
Being collaborative was a successful way to strategize teachers, resources, and school spaces to teach digital literacy at her district. Here are her top strategies for ensuring a successful digital literacy implementation and a good look at what her district is doing to help students meet state technology standards.
Starting Early with Online Safety
Like many districts, Liberty-Eylau ISD has teachers with varying tech skill levels and resources to teach digital literacy curriculum. For example, students in Kindergarten through fourth grade receive lessons on digital citizenship in a computer lab environment where teachers and paraprofessionals are tasked with teaching the technology curriculum. But, the sixth graders receive their digital literacy instruction in a technology applications class that has a full-time technology applications teacher. However, the fifth, seventh, and eighth graders in the district were identified as needing to receive digital literacy instruction, yet they did not have a technology applications teacher available to all those grades.
To find educators who could deliver those grades much-needed digital literacy curriculum, Cullum’s school got creative and had their social studies teachers step up to access and teach the technology curriculum. It proved to be a wise decision.
“To help make us state compliant, we covered the technology application TEKS in our social studies classes, we want integrated curriculum but we also had to meet our requirement, so we were able to use Google Classroom with other assignments and Learning.com curriculum,” said Cullum.
Leveraging the Library
To ensure students were receiving key instruction about online safety, the district identified the school librarians as great tech leaders and worked with them to cover digital literacy topics such as digital citizenship and bullying in the library with students. Computer fundamentals such as how to turn on their Chromebook or how to log in were covered in the library setting with librarians leading the lessons. To that point, a partnership between classroom teachers and those librarians also formed and helped students receive the online safety foundation that they needed outside of the library environment. Classroom teachers could have students work on digital literacy lessons they covered with librarians after they were done with daily coursework.
Removing Barriers to Accessing Curriculum
The technology team at Liberty-Eylau ISD saw a need for access to digital literacy curriculum in all learning environments. The district uses Google Classroom and provides a link to Learning.com so teachers, librarians, students, and parents or guardians can always find the link and easily log in to their account. Learning.com’s upcoming deep integration with Google Classroom is going to help further support teachers and students using curriculum in a lab environment, in the classroom – for teachers who may not be familiar – and at home.
Making the Most of Your Solutions
Through a multi-layered approach to bring digital literacy curriculum to students, make the most of the district technology investment, and remain compliant with state standards, Cullum helped foster a collaborative method that they will be implementing again for many school years to come.
Do you need ideas for successfully implementing digital literacy curriculum at your district? Use this interactive tool to help determine ways to incorporate digital literacy skills in core subject-area instruction.