Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent
November, 11th 2013
15:39
 

Tricia Kennedy, Executive Director, eCLASS Transformation  Gwinnett County Public Schools

Tricia Kennedy, Executive Director, eCLASS Transformation
Gwinnett County Public Schools

By Tricia Kennedy

Gwinnett County Public Schools, Georgia’s largest school district and the 13th largest in the nation, expanded the walls of the classroom this fall with new technology resources that foster collaboration and nurture creativity and innovation.

The resources are a part of the district’s eCLASS (digital Content, Learning, and Support System) initiative, an integrated enterprise solution to enhance student engagement and the learning process which includes the Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) Tool.

Serving nearly 169,000 students, the district faced some harsh realities several years ago:

  • Gwinnett classrooms did not necessarily reflect how students learn today nor the world for which we are striving to prepare them;
  • To differentiate learning for students, GCPS needed to use technology to embrace the dynamic capabilities of digital content and leverage innovative learning approaches;
  • The existing textbook model was not cost-sustainable nor did it provide the desired flexibility found in a digital content model; and,
  • There was a need to integrate the many disparate systems into a more useful and user-friendly system that could have a positive impact on teaching and learning.

With this in mind, GCPS partnered with IBM to provide the knowledge and know-how to integrate new teaching and learning tools into our existing infrastructure and capabilities. For example, IBM’s Smarter Education team is overseeing the integration of mobile technology into the classrooms in a device agnostic way, assisting in the implementation of analytics, while delivering digital content via key industry instructional applications and the use of mobile devices, driving creativity and flexibility in both learning and teaching.

While eCLASS is still in its infancy, we are excited about the possibilities of our shared vision. Once fully implemented, it will bring together curriculum and instructional resources, assessment, professional development, student information, and grading functions in one place.

In addition to providing teachers with more information about their students’ learning needs and about their own teaching strengths, eCLASS is enhancing how students use digital content, building on their interests and capabilities. In doing so, we hope to make learning more real and relevant to students who have never known a world without technology.
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2 Comments
 
November 27, 2013
8:39 am

This is great for Gwinnett County. While Cobb County is focused on the baseball Braves team, Gwinnett County is being a trail brazer for new ideas and technologies to educate our youth. Their High School DECA Marketing program is one of the best in the nation. Of course my daughter being one of the leaders in the county school system also help(smile).

I agree with the prior comment. but I would like to see us use these resources to expand the education system here in the US. We have 47 million people at the poverty level. More than 16 million children in the United States – 22% of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level. This US poverty has global implications as poor students of fall further behind in the classroom and the workplace. When we fail to educate, we fail our future in the global market place. When we degrade the value and importance of teachers, we fail our future. I would like to see more companies take action like IBM and Exxon have to improve our education system and the children thereof.

Great article last month that should be read by all “Rising child poverty pushes American dream out of reach for many” http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/10/22/demographic-shift-puts-american-dream-out-reach/

According to the U.S. Department of Education, American students rank 17th in science and 25th in mathematics among industrialized nations. I am glad IBM and it’s smarter classroom approach is a leading innovator and partner in the growth potential of American education and is working to ensure that American students have every door open to them as they prepare to move this country forward.


Posted by: Jim Bell
 
November 27, 2013
6:36 am

I wonder if we could use these resources to teach children in Africa, making them citizens of the future(and giving them a new future through education). With tools like Watson in the cloud I hope this day comes soon.


Posted by: Marco Ribeiro
 
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December 18, 2013
8:01 am

[…] a first-of-a-kind effort IBM is collaborating with Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) to use cognitive technologies such as machine learning, predictive […]


Posted by: Atlanta School System Turns to Cognitive Computing for Personalized Education A Smarter Planet Blog
 
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