Clear Creek ISD: Implementing a New Vision for Public Education

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Note: This blog is the first of three articles overviewing Clear Creek ISD’s 1:1 tablet initiative, Latitude 2 Learn.  Part two will overview the professional learning program the district implemented to help teachers personalize learning and part three will focus on the learning innovation occurring on a daily basis.

Two high school students working on tablets

Driving change in public education to improve student outcomes has become a national mandate.  While there continues to be ongoing debate around how to define a new vision for learning to meet the needs of the 21st century learner, Clear Creek ISD (CCISD) is leading the way in making their vision of personalized learning an everyday reality for 40,000 students and 5,000 teachers. 

Clear Creek ISD logoCCISD is one of 23 school districts taking part in The Texas High Performance Schools Consortium, chartered with improving student learning by developing innovative high-priority learning standards and assessment and accountability systems for Texas.  Digital integration is one of the major components for the High Performance Schools Consortium work as it allows learning to come alive in the classroom, go deeper and have higher levels of student engagement than ever before. CCISD leadership knew that providing every student access to technology was fundamental to preparing kids for their future. 

As CCISD began planning for the integration of technology, they first started by defining why they were doing it before addressing how they would accomplish it.  They defined learning goals based on input from district leadership, teachers, parents, business leaders and students.  Feedback consistently centered on giving students access to the vast amount of available information and ensuring that students are prepared for their future. CCISD believed that technology was an essential tool for increasing student engagement by allowing them to have control over the manner in which they demonstrate mastery of the content they have to learn. 

We passionately believe that if students have access to the vast amount of information out there and they know the methods of how to discern what information is useful, and then be able to produce something that’s meaningful for them, then they will deepen their own learning,” observed Dr. Steven Ebell, CCISD Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. 

With a vision clearly defined, CCISD then issued an RFP to evaluate a wide range of vendors to decide the best device to meet the learning goals.  They established a panel of high school students to evaluate the devices under consideration.  After evaluating the whole package, the students decided that the Dell Latitude 10, backed by Dell and Dell’s partnership with Intel and Microsoft, represented a no compromise solution.  Students decided that this was the best tool to help them get ready for college and career.

Latitude 2 Learn logoSelecting the right student device was just one step in CCISD’s overall program.  To ensure the technology would be used in a productive and meaningful way, a team representing curriculum and instruction, professional learning, IT, teachers, parents and students came together to build and execute a comprehensive program, named “Latitude 2 Learn”.  This multifaceted program addressed professional learning for teachers and district leaders, IT infrastructure readiness, community engagement, student involvement and on-going support for students and teachers.

“With 40,000 students and 5,000 employees, we needed to make sure we got this right,” noted Dr. Greg Smith, CCISD Superintendent of Schools, “and we did.”

Starting in August 2013, CCISD began a phased deployment of tablets to students with the goal of giving all students from grades 4-12 a Dell tablet by the fall of 2015. “The tablet is a way of life for our students and it’s a basic necessity to make sure that our kids are prepared for their future,” stated Dr. Smith.

Watch the video below to learn more about Clear Creek ISD’s Latitude 2 Learn initiative and hear more from the district at ISTE this month. Tory Hill and Kevin Schwartz from Clear Creek will host a session on Monday, June 30, 11:30 am–12:30 pm in B310:

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About the Author: Kay Kerr

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