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Tuckahoe Schools Recap Technology Initiative's Successes

Hendrick Hudson teachers observe technology integration in Jason Pappas's’ history class at Tuckahoe High School. The Tuckahoe school district launched a technology initiative in 2013 and now considers itself a leader in the field.
Hendrick Hudson teachers observe technology integration in Jason Pappas's’ history class at Tuckahoe High School. The Tuckahoe school district launched a technology initiative in 2013 and now considers itself a leader in the field. Photo Credit: Contributed

TUCKAHOE, N.Y. -- Tuckahoe educators and students have been embracing computers as teaching tools ever since the school district adopted its strategic technology plan in 2013, say school officials.

At a workshop earlier this month, administrators and tech team members updated the Board of Education on the plan, which, they said, has implemented a wide range of initiatives in the last two years.

The most notable of those initiatives, the board was told, is the deployment of a 1:1 environment in third through 12th grades in which every student is assigned a Chromebook. Those in kindergarten through second grade get classroom cart-based devices.

Traditional classroom learning in every grade level has been expanded through the integration of tech programs, they said, including: Reading Wonders, ABC Mouse, Go Math, Problem Attic, Khan Academy, and computer coding.

Students at Tuckahoe High School can now enroll in online courses through AccelerateU.

Digital literacy, and other technology-related benchmarks, have been integrated into core curricula. All programs are part of an ongoing alignment with National Educational Technology Standards by grade level, they said.

Teachers maintain their own websites and many are also using Google Classroom as a course-management tool.

Through a partnership with BOCES, teachers James Moore and Cathy Gmoser are mentoring their peers by providing technology integration help.

Moore and Gmoser help other teachers by streamlining processes such as enabling easier password administration for elementary students, and coaching on teacher websites and Google classroom. They also spearhead new opportunities through Google Apps for Education and other programs.

The combination of these resources has, the district said, allowed teachers to deliver “blended learning” while actively engaging students as they acquire 21st-century skills.

Tuckahoe, which considers itself a leader in the area of educational technology integration, has been observed by other districts, hosted product development representatives from Samsung, participated in the national Hour of Code movement, and joined the pioneer program for beta testing of a Google Expeditions, an educational app.

A technology committee will reconvene under the leadership of Tuckahoe Middle School principal Ellen McDonnell to examine key areas such as the use of Smart Schools Grant funds.

School officials said the district is continuously evaluating new classroom applications and discussions are ongoing regarding STEAM and online course offerings, device life cycles, and digital citizenship.

In 2014-15 the district was given the “Pioneer Award” by the Southern Westchester BOCES Regional Information Center for its innovation in educational technology.

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