Technology will increase achievement

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Information Age, Age of Technology, and The Digital Revolution — these are just a few of the names that describe the time in which we live. It’s an era ruled by gadgets and electronics that create learning opportunities at any given moment. It is the duty of educators to ensure that all students are well equipped with tools that they need to stay ahead of today’s technology movement.

The Natchez-Adams School District is working to harness the power of technology to engage students and provide motivational tools for teachers to increase student achievement. One strategy that is being implemented is the district’s science and technology initiative which is designed to increase both a student’s mastery of foundational skills and a student’s attitude toward schooling and learning. This initiative will also support the implementation of the National Educational Technology Standards, which uses technology in K-12 education to enable students to acquire skills needed to live and work in an increasingly digital society. All schools in the Natchez-Adams School District will participate in programs designed to engage our students through science and technology.

One such program will be piloted in grades 4, 7 and 10, the grades in which students take a state writing exam. Research has shown that integrating the use of iPads into the curriculum increases a student’s reading and writing skills.

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By piloting the use of this new technology, we can collect valuable data on whether student achievement is positively impacted and make informed decisions about future purchases.

In addition to helping students become better readers and writers, iPads offer endless other educational possibilities for teaching and learning. The students of the 21st century have never lived without technology, and they are quite adept at utilizing various types of technologies. They are accustomed to interacting with cell phones, computers, social media, etc. Therefore, the educational arena is experiencing a paradigm shift to include the use of various technologies in grades K-12.

Research indicates that the Internet and technology are powerful tools for teaching and learning and can have a positive impact when successfully integrated as part of the curriculum.

Consequently, we are working to provide our students with access to technology that will increase engagement and critical thinking while providing students with real-life applications.

Our intent is not to replace traditional resources but to recognize the power of technology as a necessary instructional tool. Instructional technology coupled with real-life applications helps students learn to make inferences, analyze data and predict outcomes — all valuable real-life application skills needed to meet current academic expectations.

In addition to piloting iPads in grades 4, 7 and 10, the district is also upgrading science equipment at all grade levels, K-12.

Teachers will soon receive updated instructional resources, computer software, portable science labs, microscopes and research equipment.

We feel certain that providing our students access to the latest technology and science resources will enhance teaching and increase student achievement.


Bettye Bell, Ed.S. is the Natchez-Adams School District’s instructional improvement coordinator.