The schools of the Orange East Supervisory Union continue to expand the appropriate use of technology in the classroom as well as use it to support the administrative functions of the schools.
Technology as curriculum
For many years, educational philosophy around technology in the classroom has been "we don't want to teach technology per se but, rather have it seamlessly and transparently integrated in the other subject areas."
This pendulum is swinging back into the middle. We need to have technology seamlessly integrated into all the subject domains and we need to teach a technology strand as an independent subject. One of the arguments heard often is that "we don't need to teach kids about technology. They know it all, they are surrounded by technology all the time they know technology better than we do!"
Today's student knowledge of technology is often very broad but incredibly thin and is focused almost exclusively on entertainment. We need to change that.
Working closely with the OESU Leadership team, the technology staffs of the OESU and member schools have created a technology scope and sequence which is attached to this page. We are also in the process of implementing a curriculum to accompanying this tech scope and sequence. Finally, we are using an international formative assessment tool called INGOTs for evaluation.
Many elements of the OESU Technology Plan rely on Free and Open Source (FOSS) solutions. By focusing on FOSS solutions, the OESU can save tens of thousands of dollars in the license fees, but more importantly, if the OESU uses Open Source solutions in classrooms, we are able to provide the exact same software to families for their home computers. This will directly help close the "Digital Divide" between the families with the resources to purchase software and those that do not have those resources. For families without the financial means to buy computers, using FOSS allows us to put a free operating system on a donated computer and give it to these families at no cost to the schools. This is simply not possible with closed source operating systems.