San Diego Unified School District

San Diego Unified School District

Through the i21 Interactive Classroom Initiative, the district is bringing new edtech tools into classrooms and prioritizing PD by providing all teachers with the support necessary to integrate the new tech tools in meaningful ways.

State: California Number of Students: 129,380
School Type: Public School District Free and Reduced Lunch: 61.4%
Grade Level: K-Adult English Language Learners: 24.7%

School Context

Beyond Standardized Testing: San Diego Unified aims to go beyond standardized testing to include quantitative andqualitative measures for the individual’s growth.

Redefining Roles: The district believes that teachers and principals are critical to student achievement, so it supportsteachers through participation in school-based PLCs and supports principals with training to be strong instructional leaders.

Home-School Connection: San Diego Unified believes in the power of families and communities and therefore placesemphasis on community involvement.

Bottom-Up Organization: San Diego Unified is focused on ensuring that the central district administration facilitatessupport of principals and teachers to share best practices with all members of the community to improve teaching andlearning.

State of Technology

Interactive Classrooms: In 2009, San Diego Unified School District begana five-year plan (called the i21 Interactive Classroom Initiative) to bringnew edtech tools into classrooms. The district put some of the biggestchoices in the hands of practitioners, creating a committee of 10 teachersand 12 principals who chose the tools for classrooms across the districtto adopt. They chose interactive whiteboards, presentation stations withdocument cameras and tablets for teachers, classroom audio technologyto wirelessly amplify the teacher’s voice and netbook computers forstudents. According to the district’s five-year technology plan (2010-2015),the goal is to achieve a 1:1 device-to-student ratio for every classroom ingrades 3-12 by 2015. The committee also opted for content creation tools,eReaders, podcasting software, and a student response system.

Building Capacity Within: San Diego Unified trains teacher leaders tobecome i21 Lead Technology Teachers. These teachers mentor and coachother teachers in their school, particularly on integrating the new techinto the curriculum. There is also an Educational Technology Team, whois responsible for providing PD support to all teachers. The EducationalTechnology Team works particularly close with the Beginning TeacherSupport and Assessment (BTSA) program for new teachers, and the LeadTechnology Teachers support the newbies on the ground in their schools.

Prioritizing PD: With a vast initiative like i21 Interactive ClassroomsInitiative, the district knew they had to prioritize PD, providing all teacherswith the support necessary to integrate the new tech tools in meaningfulways. The PD plan includes skill training for all of the tools involved in thei21 Initiative, and training in content that is aligned with specific gradelevels. The goal is for teachers to begin integrating the new tools into theircurricula. There is also a team at each school that works with the principalto evaluate how each teacher is implementing the technology, and toprovide targeted support when needed.

*Content From 2015

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