BALDWIN PARK – Teachers from across Baldwin Park Unified will embark on extensive training in classroom technology this summer as the District begins to create classrooms that infuse instruction with the latest digital tools.
A special emphasis of the effort will be to create two prototype multi-lingual classrooms in the District’s dual-language immersion program at Foster Elementary.
“It’s critical that, as we increasingly incorporate digital devices into our classrooms, our teachers possess the skills to ensure those tools are effective in helping students acquire the skills they need to succeed, including collaboration, critical thinking, communication and creativity,” Superintendent Froilan N. Mendoza said.
The District will train two teachers from each of its 20 campuses, two dual-language immersion teachers, assistant principals and principals from each school. The District’s leadership staff will also participate in the two-day training sessions, to be held in August. Sessions will be held in person and supported with an online component.
The teachers will return to their schools as pioneers in implementing technology-infused lessons.
To support the teachers, the District is upgrading its capacity for wireless internet connectivity, adding two new carts of Chromebooks to each school and installing interactive whiteboard/projection systems to classrooms.
In all of the model classrooms, the focus will be on creating a student-centered environment in which teachers act as learning facilitators for a project-driven instructional system. In the prototype multi-lingual classrooms, extra emphasis will be on effective communication and collaboration in English and Spanish.
“Baldwin Park is really at the forefront in developing a technology-infused, multi-lingual classroom,” said Rick Hassler, Director of Educational Technology and Support. “There’s been a lot of focus on technology in the classroom as well as research into creating multi-lingual classrooms, but not much has been done to bring these concepts together.”
For example, in a technology-infused, multi-lingual classroom, digital tools must be capable of supporting lesson plans in at least two languages.
“We are taking research from both areas and developing a prototype that will not only help Baldwin Park, but which could be a model across the nation,” Hassler said.
Baldwin Park is recognized as a leader in developing multi-lingual classrooms, honored repeatedly for the strength of its pioneering dual-language immersion program launched nearly two decades ago.
As part of the technology implementation plan, the District has incorporated time for teachers to reflect on the effectiveness of technology-infused instruction with District technology leaders. The approach means implementation will be slower, but effective.
The training and tools will be rolled out to additional groups of teachers over time. Teachers in the first cohort will have the option of taking additional training and serving as mentors at their campuses.