October 2003, TEA was awarded a federal grant to evaluate a component of
this project using scientifically-based research to provide evidence
about the effectiveness of educational technology in K-12 education. Of
dozens of districts who applied for that program, nine were selected to
take part in one form or another, but only IISD was selected to
implement the one-student-to-one-computing device technology on three
campuses, forming a vertical team of elementary, middle and high
Irving High School, de Zavala Middle School, and
Lively Elementary School make the Irving ISD vertical team for this
project. The three campuses will share $975,000 over a two-year period
to implement the program. Every student has a personal computing device
with Dell laptops for most and AlphaSmarts for the younger grades. All
classrooms have a data projector, teacher laptop, printer and wireless
The purpose of the grant is to explore the impact of
technology immersion on student achievement by providing each student
with a wireless mobile computing device, and integrating software,
online resources, and other appropriate learning technologies.
Teachers have been involved in numerous staff
development sessions to help with the implementation of the program.
Those have included: Laptops 101, Levels of Technology Implementation (LoTI),
Integrating with AlphaSmarts, classroom management, and Job Alike
sessions in content areas. Parents and students are required to attend
an orientation before receiving their laptop.
TIP Projects have included: Virtual Voting, One to One
Symposium, a site visit to see the Maine Learns state-wide laptop
program, participation at NECC, and numerous campus activities. All
teachers are required to submit at least two TechFusion lessons per
year. These are lessons that incorporate technology into their
curriculum. There are several systems in place that teachers use on a
daily basis. All teachers use an electronic gradebook and an online
curriculum and assessment system. Many teachers utilize Blackboard to
house their classroom assignments. These tools have been invaluable to
the success of this project.
Future plans for the project include the expansion of
Job Alike training, more site visits to other laptop programs,
participation at other conferences, another vertical team technology
project, webquest training and using LoTI to evaluate teacher planning
and student work.
We would like to thank our corporate partners for
their generous support and guidance: Dell, AlphaSmart, Absolute
Software, Blackboard, Questia, and EdSoft. We would also like to thank
TEA for having the vision for this grant project and providing the funds
and support along the way!
For more information about
the Irving ISD TIP grant, contact Dr. Alice Owen,
Executive Director of Technology (972) 215-5250