It started as a pipe dream.
Several years ago, Worcester County Public Schools officials wanted to upgrade the district’s technology platform. And with the support of Superintendent Lou Taylor and the forward-thinking county lawmakers who secured the funding, it became a reality.
“It was our dream,” said Annette Wallace, the district’s chief operating and academic officer for grades nine through 12, of the school system’s recent partnership with Apple that created an instructional technology program from high technology.
Nick Genovesi and Brian Cook, the district’s instructional technology and innovation coaches, publicly presented details of the program at a November 16 Board of Education meeting.
Officially implemented in fall 2020 with iPads for students, the partnership has not only contributed to virtual learning and engagement during the unplanned school closures due to the pandemic, but it has also propelled the district at the forefront of technology offerings.
“Not only is Worcester County doing things with devices and technology that other counties aren’t doing, but we’re doing things that people on this side of the country aren’t doing,” Genovesi said during the presentation. of last week.
Through the program, in the winter of 2020, students at Showell Elementary received MacBooks. Over the summer, flat screens replaced smartboards in all classrooms across the district, and staff members received training on Apple devices. In the fall, all teachers received MacBooks, and this winter, administrative staff will receive iMacs.
According to Genovesi and Cook’s presentation, 518 staff members were certified as Apple teachers and 648 MacBooks were distributed throughout the district.
And from freshmen to high school students, students have benefited from this innovative new technology. They can now interact with teachers throughout the course. And teachers can be much more creative with easier access to more information and processes, among other benefits.
Taylor, who said he tasked officials several years ago with coming up with a replacement for the district’s “outdated” technology, is more than happy with the outcome.
“It worked out so well I can’t even begin to tell you,” he said. “It’s one of those things that I’m so proud of. Our schools are much better places because of the work you do, the learning environment is so much better. We’re in a good place with our Apple computer program.