"To live, learn, and work successfully in an increasingly complex and information-rich society, students must be able to use technology effectively. Within an effective educational setting, technology can enable students to become:
- Capable information technology users
- Information seekers, analyzers, and evaluators
- Problem solvers and decision makers
- Creative and effective users of productivity tools
- Communicators, collaborators, publishers, and producers
- Informed, responsible, and contributing citizens."
The Teaching and Learning Initiative
Today's students live in a digital world and come to school with different expectations and needs. Through the Teaching and Learning Initiative, Henrico's schools are preparing students for the 21st century by providing meaningful instruction and improving academic performance.
Henrico Schools teamed with Apple Computer Inc. and Dell Inc. to launch the Teaching and Learning Initiative by deploying laptops to all high school and middle school students and staff. The school system's vision is to close the digital divide by providing computers and Internet access to all students. Henrico's goal is to demonstrate a new paradigm for teaching and learning that is suitable for 21st century America.
The Technology Department believes in empowering teachers by providing them with a wide variety of teaching tools and resources. Our teachers are certified professionals and use eLearning and textbook resources as tools to teach curriculum based on the Virginia Standards of Learning.
Research supports conclusions that the use of technology, incorporating visual and collaborative teaching practices, promotes student learning. Students now have a direct pathway to rich, diverse and current information that was never before available in the classroom. The initiative gives students and teachers access to content-rich lesson plans developed by Henrico teachers and specialists.
National Educational Technology Standards (NETS)
Henrico County Pubic Schools and the Department of Instructional Technology uses the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) as a guide for recognizing and addressing the essential conditions for effective use of technology to support Pre K-12 learning. Technology is applied to the learning environment through:
- A focus on core subjects and content
- An emphasis on learning 21st century skills (e.g., thinking critically, collaborating, applying knowledge to new situations)
- The use of 21st century tools (information and communication technologies) to develop learning skills
- Employment of strategies for teaching and learning in a 21st century context (authentic relevant experiences)
The Department of Instructional Technology works with teachers, principals, and content specialists to identify and implement digital resources and supporting technologies that will ensure a solid 21st century learning experience for Henrico students. The department staff includes instructional technology specialists and instructional technology resource teachers who provide consultation, training and support for the integration of technology into the instructional program.
Thomas Woodward, Assistant Director, Instructional Technology