Houston Independent School District, one of the largest school districts in the country, has recently rolled out a new initiative to ensure that every school, student, and teacher has access to technology.
Education Week just recognized the district as a “leader to learn from” because the “215,000-student Houston district is setting the bar for how to manage the digital transformation of a large urban school system.”
Superintendent Terry B. Grier and Chief Technology Information Officer Lenny J. Schad worked together to create “Power Up,” which aims to provide laptops for every student in the district’s high schools to use at home and at school, change the way students and their teachers get digital content, and eliminate print textbooks at the secondary school level.
“Many of our students have never had technology in their homes,” said Grier. He also stated that the school struggles with consistency when it comes to instruction, but believes that technology has the power to level that playing field.
Since implementing the initiative, the district has seen a decrease in their drop-out rate and an increase in their graduation rate and reports that students are more engaged. “I believe that it’s not about the machine,” says Grier. “It’s about changing how and what you teach.”
Check out Education Week’s video below to see how Houston has been so successful in implementing this initiative.