Innovations in teaching at the Monett School District were reported to the Board of Education during the May meeting.
David Steward, high school principal, and Brad Hanson, the incoming assistant superintendent, reported on the kick-off meeting of the 21st Century Task Force. The group is seeking to identify the skills needed for students to succeed after high school and invest in tools to achieve those skills.
The task force scheduled monthly meetings and trips in the fall to schools like the one in Baxter Springs, Kan., that have achieved a high integration of technology with teaching. The 19-person group is composed of faculty, students, parents, teachers and board members.
Work groups from the task force will meet over the summer to work on specific assignments. Steward and Hanson hoped to have recommendations to present to the board by September or October.
Melody Paige, who is heading the technology training for faculty, reported iPads have begun arriving. The small Apple computers have been placed in teachers' hands, so that they can begin experimenting to find Apps, books, podcasts and videos that will support their instruction.
Other Monett teachers have prepared a list of recommended programs to use. Teachers were encouraged to review the options over the summer. Paige said more than 75 teachers were attending a workshop on using the new devices.
"The enthusiasm is contagious," Paige added.
During the 2010-11 school year, Monett educators participated in more than 2,300 hours of technology training. Twenty-five different technology sessions were offered. Twenty-seven teachers completed their first year of tech training, and 40 teachers completed the second year.
During the summer, Paige planned to distribute laptops to teachers and provide additional training on Smartboards. A summer technology retreat was planned that will be taught by fellow Monett teachers where faculty can pursue technology subjects that interest them.