Karen Cammuso, PhD, clinical director of developmental services at Bradley Schools, discusses the use of technology in the classroom and how it can help teachers maximize and specialize learning time.
Bradley Schools use a multisensory approach to their Common Core Aligned Curriculum including state-of-the-art technology such as tablets, interactive whiteboards, and computers, along with visual aids, text books, and hands-on learning opportunities. This results in students accessing a rigorous curriculum in a flexible, differentiated manner that focuses on their unique learning styles accompanied by specialized instruction and interventions.
Interactive whiteboards are a recent innovation that enhances student engagement in the learning process. The Bradley School has implemented the use of interactive whiteboards for many classrooms across all five of the Bradley School sites.
The introduction of several online curricula have necessitated that our students have access to the interactive whiteboards as well as individual computers or tablets. In addition, our upcoming transition from the RI State Assessment - NECAP (New England Common Assessment Program) to the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) requires that each student gain computer literacy skills to access this and other progress monitoring tools that allow our teaching staff to continually monitor student growth and success. As a result, 150 tablets were purchased in 2013 to expand student access to the online curricula.
A grant from the Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Trust in 2010-2011 led to the purchase of interactive smartboards for all classrooms in the Portsmouth School, as well as laptop carts and iPads. Funding from the William Bingham Foundation enabled the East Providence Partnership to purchase interactive whiteboards for its classrooms, as well as iPads and iTouch devices to be used for students with developmental challenges.
State-of-the-art technology integration is an important initiative at the Bradley Schools, resulting in an array of training opportunities and consultation for our staff and students to ensure that teaching teams are proficient in blended learning implementation.
Early results are promising—in the first year following the implementation of the curricula and tablets, students have demonstrated significant gains in reading proficiency across all sites as well as promising growth in math, science and social studies.
As our schools continue to grow, we anticipate further expansion of our technology so that all classrooms are equipped with state of the art technology to support our students’ college and career readiness as they work to achieve their greatest potential.