Darlington County School District pursuing digital transformatio - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Darlington High School on board for digital transformation

Darlington County School District pursuing digital transformation project

Darlington High School students Darlington High School students

DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Classrooms in the Darlington County School District are making sure students know how to use the latest technology. It is their goal to put a computer device in the hands of every student in the next three years.

To help make that goal happen, a conference will be held tomorrow at Darlington Middle School, so teachers and staff can get on board with this project, to keep up with social media, and use new technology in their classrooms. It’s all about keeping up with technology and giving students direction, not just a device to use.

Eight hundred Darlington High School students were given laptops this year, and this school year was the first time Darlington High School had a 1:1 ratio with all 10th and 11th graders receiving a laptop.

One person at each campus will be chosen to work this digital transformation plan into the school, and dive deeper into how to personalize the learning for students. Diane Sigmon, Director of Technology for Darlington County School District says, “You know give us opportunities to have conversations about the student’s digital footprint, and their actions today will impact them in the future, whether it’s employment, getting into a college, it’s important for us to have those conversations.

Sigmon explains that starting those conversations gives students more pride in the work they are doing, and also allows them to take that work one step further. “Talk about their learning, if they have a project to do, rather than the standard PowerPoint slides, why not do a movie trailer or do some things you really enjoy and would feel really proud of at the end of the day,” Sigmon said.

In making this transformation it’s not just the students going through change. Principals will work with teachers to create a personal digital learning plan for their class. While some teachers may be apprehensive about the technical side, Rhett Hughes, Darlington High School teacher and Technology Coordinator is excited and has already seen a positive change.

“With these laptops and them taking care of it, I mean literally all of those issues I have had with the computer lab are gone, so the students can focus on the work and not the technology, that’s the big key,” Hughes said.

He is able to put discussion questions online for his students to respond to. “Everybody participates, everybody has a voice and furthermore anyone can respond to anyone. Not only do you get increased rigor, but you get increased participation, and we all know from learning the best way to learn is to do,” Hughes explained.

Teachers and staff have a chance to do just that at tomorrow’s conference. Parents have been a part of this digital transformation as well. There will be a series of information meetings for families to find out what this means for them. A community meeting open to the public will be held this Monday at 6 p.m. at Lamar High School.

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