JEFFERSONVILLE — This is the second in a series of Q&As with local school superintendents.
In his second year as superintendent at Greater Clark County Schools, Andrew Melin has implemented a number of initiatives across the district, and some of them are already getting results.
In the biggest rollout in Clark and Floyd counties of a 1:1 initiative — putting computers in the hands of every student — the district has a number of challenges and advantages at its hands. Melin talked to the News and Tribune about how he hopes to see his district transform this year.
You’ve put computers in the hands of every student in grades three through eight this year. Why now?
I think the biggest driving force was just that I believe that’s where education is going today. We may as well be at the forefront of it rather than falling behind others.
To me, our kids love technology, it’s second nature to them. When they’re not in school, they’re connected almost constantly. Why should we then, have them come to the schoolhouse and not be able to be around something that they’re very comfortable with? Let’s put kids in a position to learn using the tools they’re most comfortable using.
Your district had a couple of pilot 1:1 programs in Charlestown. What did you learn from those that you’ll apply to this more far-reaching initiative?
There were positives and negatives learned from that. When the technology was being actively utilized by teachers, the kids and the parents just loved it. But when the technology was not being used by teachers and stored in lockers as opposed to being used in every class, there was a breakdown. I think there was an accountability piece that was missing where there were consistent expectations across both Charlestown Middle School and Charlestown High School. We have to make sure there are common expectations across the school system that these will be utilized pretty much on a daily basis by all teachers to some level and extent while we continue to train them, making them more comfortable and confident in the technology.