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White Paper: A True 21st Century Learning Environment, Part 1

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White Paper: A True 21st Century Learning Environment, Part 1

Technology as a Tool for System-wide Transformation: The 21st Century Learning Initiative at Auburn City Schools

The world is changing. Technology is a vital tool for creating 21st Century learners who can thrive in that world. Schools must empower teachers to use technology effectively and do everything they can to ensure that students have equal access.

These bedrock principles have led one of the nation’s outstanding school systems—Auburn City Schools (ACS) in Auburn, Alabama—to get even better. ACS is using technology in a broad and deep transformation that is changing the way it prepares students for the 21st Century.

System-Wide Success with Technology

Auburn is the largest city in eastern Alabama and one of the state’s fastest-growing metropolitan areas, thanks in part to the strength of its schools. ACS is recognized throughout the state and nation for high student achievement, superb teachers, and rapid adoption of educational best practices. All schools for grades 1–12 have a media center, art teacher, music teacher, and one or more full-time counselors, and the high school offers a rigorous International Baccalaureate Program. Students consistently score above state and national averages in all areas of the Stanford Achievement Test for Grades 1–10. Ninety-eight percent of teachers are highly qualified, and all schools met No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements in 2007.

Auburn City Schools is midway through a two-year pilot of one-to-one mobile computing—the 21st Century Learning Initiative. The junior high and high schools are wirelessly networked, and over 1,000 ninth- and tenth-graders have a personal laptop computer. Teachers at both schools have spent hundreds of hours in individual, departmental, and large-group professional development. Already, the impact is pervasive: students are engaged, discipline problems are down, teachers are energized, and parents are appreciative.

Read the full True 21st Century Learning Environment White Paper, Part 1.