Manor Independent School District

Manor Independent School District

The district has purchased iPads for student and teacher use to improve student engagement and develop 21st century skills. The district is also implementing a digital citizenship and literacy program.

State: Texas Number of Students: 8,856
School Type: Public School District Free and Reduced Lunch: 73.2%
Grade Level: PK-12 English Language Learners: 36.0%

State of Technology

Integrating iPads: From 2012-2014, Manor ISD purchased 7,300 iPads for student and teacher use to improve studentengagement and develop 21st Century skills. In 2012, the district deployed devices to all three high schools, reaching a 1:1device-to-student ratio. Manor ISD piloted 1:1 iPads at one middle school and one elementary school, but over the yearshas stepped away from the 1:1 ratio for elementary and middle school. As of summer 2016, middle schools have class setsof iPads in every content area, and elementary schools have 5 devices per class on average. While all Manor ISD studentshave access to iPads, students from Manor High School and Manor New Technology High School can bring the iPadshome. Before each student gets an iPad to take home, their parents are required to sign a responsible use agreement,committing to the digital citizenship principles since online safety and digital citizenship are priorities for the district. Tosupport the implementation of these devices, the district created the iTeach Manor team. The iTeach Manor team is agroup of teachers that provide professional development to their colleagues and broader community around discoveringand implementing innovative technology.

Digital Citizenship and Literacy Program: For the coming 2016-17 school year, Manor ISD is implementing a digitalcitizenship and literacy program. Using resources from Common Sense Education, the district’s teachers, librariansand guidance counselors are collaborating and splitting the lesson load to support students in using technologyin responsible ways. Counselors are teaching units on relationships, communication, cyberbullying and self-image.Librarians will cover lessons on information literacy and copyright. Students will use a collection of apps to understandwhat impacts their digital footprint and to learn about Internet safety, privacy and security. Each teacher is responsiblefor teaching a minimum of one or two lessons from the curriculum and can choose the unit they wish to teach. Thedistrict encourages teachers to teach even more so they can get certified and earn an iTeach Badge. In fall 2015, Manor ISD hosted a family digital literacy night, giving parents an opportunity toask questions. There were student panels on topics like cyberbullying andsocial media and breakout sessions for parents.

Districts of Innovation: In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed HouseBill 1842, called “Districts of Innovation.” This law allows independentschools districts to be exempt from some of the Texas Education Coderequirements, much like charter schools are allowed to operate withsome flexibility when it comes to state regulations. To become a Districtof Innovation, a district must adopt a Local Innovation Plan (LIP), whereit lays out the types of changes they hope to make and the requirementsthey need exemption from. In June 2016, Manor ISD formed a LocalInnovation Committee made up of 28 members from across the districtand community. The Committee drafted an LIP focused on five specificareas: innovative curriculum, instructional methods, governance ofcampuses, parental involvement and community participation. Thegoal of the LIP is to increase targeted professional development forteachers and support innovation and initiatives to benefit students, staff,parents and the community. The LIP is valid for the next five years. TheCommittee will continue to meet and recommend modifications to theLIP to be adopted by the Board.

Nepris Connections: Manor ISD students are connecting with expertsand professionals across the world from their seats in their classrooms.In March 2016, Samsung Austin Semiconductor, a semiconductor plantowned by Samsung Electronics, provided a grant to Manor ISD allowingteachers and students to access Nepris, a cloud-based technology forlive online interactions. Through the platform, students have learnedabout intergalactic travel, measured sources of energy, built companies,met flying foxes, and watched test tubes explode all through interactivevideos. Teachers incorporated the platform into their classroom lessonsthrough online interactive sessions with professionals and virtual toursof faraway workspaces. Given positive feedback from teachers andstudents, Samsung extended the sponsorship for an additional threeyears for all Manor ISD schools. Now, every teacher in the district has theability to invite thousands of professionals into their classroom.

When the Student Becomes the Teacher: Playdate Austin is an annualevent where students lead professional development for teachers acrossAustin. Students from all grade levels across the district present on techtools and strategies for using technology in the classroom. Students areempowered to share their expertise around what tools they like to useand how to use them. The event has led the district to build a team ofcampus student leaders that provide regularly scheduled professionaldevelopment on technology for teachers.

*Content From 2016

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