Teachers, students and parents in Fairfax County didn't have the smoothest experience with digital learning in 2012-2013.
As Fairfax County Public Schools rolled out a new online math program in Fall 2012, students and teachers complained they had difficulty navigating the books, saying there were publisher errors and inconsistencies, technology roadblocks and student difficulty in accessing the information, among other complaints, like a lack of teacher buy-in to the program. They said the program, instead of advancing learning and achievement, was pushing it back, calling the $10.4 million initiative "a big disaster" with no clear solution.
The short-term solution was to re-negotiate contracts to get some hard copy books back in the classroom.
The long-term solution, schools officials have suggested this spring, are a better plan for keeping Fairfax up to speed with online learning trends — not only textbooks but the use of devices like iPads and laptops and access issues, too.
The school system will begin that process next week in a series of community dialogue meetings to gather suggestions about digital learning — a public outreach effort ahead of a planned work session on the issue this fall.
The goal is to spark "some conversations about digital learning in general: what's our vision as a community in Fairfax, what strategies might we want to implement to achieve that vision?" Craig Herring, the director of pre-k through 12 curriculum and instruction, told the board in December.
Students, parents, staff members and residents at-large are invited to give input at eight locations over the next two weeks. The input collected will be forwarded to the school board ahead of the fall discussion.
All meetings are scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. in the cafeteria of the listed schools.
- Columbia Elementary School (Cluster 3) on Monday, May 20.
- West Potomac High School (Cluster 4) on Monday, May 20.
- Key Middle School (Cluster 5) on Tuesday, May 21.
- Oakton High School (Cluster 8) on Wednesday, May 22.
- Lake Braddock Secondary School (Cluster 6) on Tuesday, May 28.
- Wolftrap Elementary School (Cluster 2) on Thursday, May 30.
- Great Falls Elementary School (Cluster 1) on Monday, June 3.
- Rocky Run Middle School (Cluster 7) on Tuesday, June 4
For more, read:
- Hardcopy Math Books to Return to Some Fairfax Classrooms