Education News

Digital Conversion Proves to Work in Mooresville

Digital Conversion Proves to Work in Mooresville

Technology in the classroom generates a lot of buzz from those affected by technology and those paying for it. In this case, much of the “buzz” stems from student outcomes.

In 2007, Mooresville Graded School Distrct (MGSD) launched a digital conversion program that placed a Mac laptop in every student’s hand from third to 12th grade. The laptops remain with the the students every day, 24/7. Children in K-3 schools have access to laptops in their schools only.

The decision to invest in technology did not come without costs. Like many school districts across the nation, Mooresville was forced to lay off teachers, thus increasing class sizes from 18  to 30 students. Having the laptops provides teachers with a tool to monitor and address students’ learning needs without sacrificing instruction time. They’ve become so good at it, that Mooresville has actually become a model for digital conversion. Visitors flock to the schools to observe the practice in action.

“This is not about the technology,” Mark Edwards, superintendent of Mooresville Graded School District, would tell the visitors later over lunch. “It’s not about the box. It’s about changing the culture of instruction — preparing students for their future, not our past.”

Since the conversion, the numbers keep increasing minus the dropout rate, which has dipped significantly. MGSD’s graduation rate last year was 91 percent and the district has the second highest graduation rate in the entire state of North Carolina.

Read the entire story at The New York Times online edition.
Visit Mooresville Graded School District.

Photo Courtesy: Jeremy M. Lange for The New York Times
CONNECTING Tammy Rigby, a fifth-grade science teacher at East Mooresville Intermediate, helping Grace Lateef, left, and Caitlyn Yaede with a class exercise.