The vision of West Fargo Public Schools is to prepare all learners with the knowledge and skills to be compassionate, contributing citizens in a rapidly changing world.
To achieve this vision, we have identified essential skills through our Profile of a Graduate that we are striving to develop in our learners. These skills include collaboration, responsibility, resiliency, compassion, reflection, communication, creativity and critical thinking.
For our students to truly embody these skills, it is essential for them to have immediate access to mobile technology, enabling them as individual learners to acquire new knowledge and apply it through relevant learning experiences. Our middle schools have had one-to-one access with their very own digital learning device for the last three years.
Over that time period, we experienced remarkable success in meeting the desired learning outcomes for students at the middle levels, so in the fall of 2019, we extended our one-to-one program to all students at West Fargo and Sheyenne High Schools (approximately 3,000 students).
Before making the investment, the district engaged many educators in the planning, design, and implementation of this project. We are grateful for their dedication and commitment to providing quality 21st century learning opportunities for our students. While we are proud of how our one-to-one program continues to advance, our educators still value the importance of social interaction among students. In some learning scenarios, immediate access can assist and enhance the student’s ability to demonstrate their learning in an innovative and authentic manner, but we also acknowledge that there should be times when technology is not required in the classroom to achieve the learning goal of the lesson.
Another benefit of recent technology advancements is the provision of accessibility tools that assist the diverse learning needs of all students. These tools support visual, audio, multiple language dictations, sensory touch and voice over reading comprehension features. In addition to the one-to-one digital learning device, we recognize the importance of providing learning opportunities that leverage collaboration and communication both face-to-face and digitally, as these digital learning tools continue to evolve and shrink our global society.
Schoology, our learning management system, provides a platform to support communication and collaboration with the classroom teacher. Students can receive guided feedback throughout the learning process while focused digital learning interactions give students an opportunity to ask (as well as answer) questions, problem-solve, think critically, and gain a deeper understanding of the lesson content.
Within our mission of “educating today’s learners for tomorrow’s world,” we see the imperative of providing students with a balanced utilization of technology to support their learning and to prepare them for their future.