In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, technology has become an integral part of education at Redesign Schools Louisiana’s three campuses: Dalton Elementary, Glen Oaks Middle, and Lanier Elementary. Each student is equipped with a Chromebook, fostering a tech-savvy environment both in the classroom and at home. Beyond basic computer skills, students are delving into innovative projects like 3D printing through project-based learning. Teachers are leveraging interactive Promethean boards and online platforms to facilitate engaging lessons and maintain communication with parents regarding grades, tests, and school activities.
However, alongside fostering technological proficiency, the school administration recognizes the importance of teaching students responsible digital citizenship. Megan McNamara, superintendent of Redesign Schools Louisiana, emphasizes the need to create global learners while also instilling the values of online safety. In an age where children start using the internet as early as seven, the school aims to educate students about the impacts of technology.
National studies indicate that, despite age restrictions on social media platforms, many children under 13 create accounts. Shockingly, about 80% of teens regularly use social media, and online risks abound. Data shows that 85% of teens have experienced online bullying, 69% of tweens and 90% of teens have encountered inappropriate content, and 40% of kids have connected with strangers online.
To address these concerns, Redesign Schools Louisiana has implemented several measures. They’ve installed filters on student Chromebooks and campus devices to monitor searches for explicit content, violence, bullying, self-harm, or other concerning topics. Alerts are raised, allowing school administrators and staff to engage in conversations with the students and their families.
Furthermore, teachers actively supervise device usage in classrooms and employ technology to enhance lessons. Candace Lucas, coordinator of policy and procedure, notes that teachers embrace technology, utilize laptops for lessons, and communicate with parents through text messages.
To involve parents, an initiative is underway to provide resources for monitoring their child’s device usage and addressing any concerns they may have. While some may view these measures skeptically, McNamara sees them as necessary safeguards for child protection.
Redesign Schools Louisiana is also introducing digital citizenship courses into the curriculum, focusing on topics like appropriate social media use and screen time. With education and test delivery increasingly shifting online, the school aims to equip students with technology basics while ensuring their safety and understanding of responsible online behavior.
Redesign Schools Louisiana in Baton Rouge strives to prepare students for a tech-driven future by fostering technological proficiency, while also imparting essential lessons on safe and responsible technology use. These efforts aim to set students on the path to success in a world where online communication is paramount. For more information about Redesign Schools Louisiana, visit www.redesignschoolslouisiana.org.