By Susan Miller
Missourian Staff Writer
The deadline for students, parents, staff and patrons of the Washington School District to complete a technology survey is this Friday.
The online survey is being conducted in partnership with Project Tomorrow, a nationwide educational service that provides free and confidential surveys to schools and nonprofit organizations.
The data collected will help guide the district’s technology initiative, said Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer, who hopes to have a report back on information gathered by the end of January.
“We’re asking all of our patrons to please, please take the survey,” she said.
Those without Internet access should visit the Washington Public Library or contact one of the district’s principals who can accommodate them.
VanLeer said a large number of staff members and students have already completed the survey.
The district’s technology focus group continues to meet as it works on a comprehensive districtwide technology plan.
As part of the Washington Way Project, Focus Group 3 is developing a plan to best incorporate technology into the daily work environment of district students.
VanLeer says the goal is to help students become more engaged and improve their achievement levels in all areas.
Members are currently researching six aspects of the plan — communications, device selection, evaluation, funding, implementation and professional learning.
At its last meeting, representatives from the Pattonville School District discussed their 1:1 digital learning initiative. Launched this year, the program provides a MacBook Air laptop to every student at Pattonville High School.
The group also learned about iPad utilization in the classroom in a presentation given by two St. Francis Borgia Regional High School students.
Borgia launched its iPad initiative this year where traditional textbooks have been replaced by iBooks and every student and teacher is using an iPad and stylus.
“All of this information is helpful as we strategically develop our plan,” VanLeer said.
No decision has been made on whether the Washington School District would utilize laptops or some other tablet.
The superintendent said anyone interested in helping shape the district’s technology future is invited to attend the next Focus Group 3 meeting Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the TLC.