I believe that Wayzata’s dedication to excellence in technology is changing the way our students learn and the way our teachers teach. In my own work at Greenwood, I’ve seen firsthand how the MyWay initiative is truly engaging kids in learning and supporting communication in exciting, new ways. So I was really looking forward to my conversation about technology with Dave Zukor, a Technology Integration Specialist in Wayzata Schools.
Dave Zukor has worked in the Wayzata schools for over 13 years. He worked at Sunset Hill and Plymouth Creek teaching third grade, fifth grade, vision 21 and technology before becoming a Technology Integration Specialist six years ago. His primary role is to support and train teachers, but you may recognize him from the middle school iPad distributions or from the parent classes he taught throughout the district.
Dave clarified that the goal of the MyWay initiative is not just about getting devices into students’ hands, “it’s a new focus on personalized learning and digital literacy”. Dave talked about how iPads can individualize education when they allow students to learn, practice and research at their own pace, discover and follow their unique passions and receive interventions when needed. I’ve observed how technology can also support teachers as they differentiate their instruction, meeting students where they’re at and striving for progress.
But in order for technology to support personalized learning, Dave explained how important it is to start right away in kindergarten. Most of our kids come to school having experience with devices at home. The goal in kindergarten is to get kids to re-think what they can do with an iPad; “if at the end of kindergarten, kids know that the iPad can be used to read, listen, write and create, then we’ve been successful”. Using the iPad as a learning and research tool will be reinforced every year. “It’s a long term process. Expectations need to change so that we understand how technology can benefit a different kind of learning. The skills our students need for success are changing; digital literacy, media literacy, and effective communication with people all over the world”. He believes these skills give students the confidence to take risks, experiment, learn from failures and build resiliency.
Check out Dave’s blog at http://digitaleyesblog.blogspot.com/
If you know someone in the district I should talk to, please respond to this post or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.