White Oak ISD
Viral Approach Enables Tiny District to POWER ON
Can a few teachers generate enough excitement and enthusiasm for technology that a passion for digital learning spreads virally through a school? If the teachers and support staff are as creative as the individuals in tiny White Oak ISD, the answer is a resounding “yes!”
“You get one teacher at a grade level who sees the benefit and begins to integrate that into their classroom, and it just spreads,” said Nina Peery, Technology Teacher, White Oak Intermediate School.
The desire to add technology to their classrooms not only spread from teacher to teacher in the White Oak Primary School, but eventually spread to the intermediate school and high school. Teachers shared their knowledge with other teachers in informal training sessions that often lasted for hours after school. Now White Oak is having a viral impact on other districts in the region.
Creative Use of Technology Engages Students
Teachers soon found that technology, when creatively integrated into curriculum, engaged students at a much higher level than paper and pencil work, and often increased retention of the subject matter.
“When I asked them what they liked about it, it’s just that they’re comfortable with the type of technology,” said Spanish teacher Shelly Hugghins, echoing what so many teachers have discovered about the first generation of digital natives.
Technology Also Stimulating for Teachers
One of the factors behind the rapid adoption of technology in White Oak was that teachers found that it also made their job more fun and rewarding.
Said Karen Dickson, principal of White Oak Intermediate, “A classroom teacher that’s been teaching longer than I have, stood up in front of the board members and said, ’It’s like starting all over. I’m excited to go to work, I love what I do, and the children are excited to come to my class. What more can you ask for than that?’”