Laptops for 21st Century Learning will focus on technology enhanced project-based learning activities as students acquire the digital literacy skills that are vital to success in the 21st century. Students will learn content knowledge, develop information and communication technology literacy and cultivate workplace competencies such as teamwork, communication, planning and problem solving. The program will provide laptop computers and other digital resources for student use in targeted classrooms and extensive professional development for the students’ teachers so that they will be prepared to incorporate these technologies.
The teachers selected for this grant implementation are participating in technology learning communities and are well equipped to use the technology available to them. They have agreed to continue their journey to effectively integrate technology into the curriculum by moving beyond an appropriate but limited use of technology in the instructional process to complete infusion of technology. Their technology learning communities will provide a system for collaboration, mutual support and professional development during the grant implementation.
Students will author a series of increasingly sophisticated multimedia projects that extend the reach of the learning community classrooms. Initial projects, incorporating individual online research and limited multimedia content, will primarily reiterate the District scope and sequence. Projects will increase in technical and cognitive sophistication as teachers acclimate to pedagogies and technologies that provide student centered and inquiry based learning environments. The resulting instruction, engaging students in pragmatic application of content through cooperative action, multimedia authoring and an expanded conception of curriculum, will gradually transform teaching and learning. Students will benefit from effective literacy-technology integration that engages them and teaches them new literacies in an authentic 21st century learning environment (Wolsey, 2007).