Educators from the Socorro Independent School District participated in this year's Digitally Nurturing Academics “Level Up: Taking Learning to the Next Level” conference ahead of the school year as thousands of students prepare to receive laptops.
This is the first year that all SISD students will have access to a laptop as part of the district's DNA 1:1 technology program. The DNA program first started in 2014 with freshmen at Socorro High School.
"Today is all about them. Because we know when they go to that first day of school, it's all about the students," Denisa Morales, instructional technology specialist with SISD, said. "So we want to prepare our teachers with the skills and the tools that they need to provide those transformational experiences for our students."
So, about 1,800 teachers received training in Office 365 Suite and Adobe Spark programs to help students during the school year.
Isaac Williams said, even though he's a "young teacher," he is grateful for the training.
He also said even though it is hard to integrate the new technology, this is a good way to reach the students in another way.
"It empowers our students to become leaders in the classroom. It allows them to realize that they can teach us things. So I think they really enjoy it from my experience with the kids," Williams said.
"We don't want to wait until students get to high schools to experience the benefits of technology tools used in 1:1 environments," Miguel Moreno, instructional technology coordinator said. "We are getting teachers prepared now by offering the latest training and new ways to utilize resources."
SISD Superintendent Dr. Jose Espinoza said the goal is to distribute electronic devices to every single student to use at home.
"There's some families, there's some students, who don't have that exposure, who don't have that capability of continuing their learning at home like some students from affluent families so we want to make sure that we level the playing field for all of our students," Espinoza said.