KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — Walking into an elementary or middle school, students are no longer learning with just pencil and paper.
“The world is at their fingertips,” said Hays Consolidated Independent School District’s Wallace Middle School teacher Laura Porras, as her student worked quietly behind her on their iPads. “If they want to know something they go to their iPad or their phones and they look it up, it’s right there.”
Porras has been a teacher for the last 18 years; undoubtedly her classroom looks much different from when she started.
“Now I have my document camera, I type in what I want and it shows up on the screen and it’s so much easier, so much faster,” said Porras.
In a world that’s all about technology, teachers like Porras say they are now having to adapt so that when students go home, they can continue learning on their devices, but that comes with its own set of challenges.
“We need to meet the needs of all students no matter where you live, no matter how much money your parents make, or where you attend school at Hays CISD,” said HCISD Superintendent Michael McKie, whose district is wrapping up a five-year strategic plan that was created in 2010. The strategic plan as a whole was to look at how the district can improve the way a student learns.
McKie says a new strategic committee will look at other ways to advance learning in the classroom and find ways for those less fortunate can also be part of the learning experience even if they don’t own the devices used in class.
“Our biggest challenge will be how will we bridge various gaps between the haves and have-nots,” said McKie.
Their old plan was created in 2010, the year the first iPad was announced. That alone shows just how much technology and learning has changed in just five years.
“A lot of people think back of how did you learn, how did I learn when I was in school, but that’s a different experience today,” said McKie.
And with technology advancing, Hays CISD plans to follow the trend
“At Hays CISD we know right now that we don’t have the financial capacity to issue every one of our students a device. And so, that’s something I know that the committee will talk about and wrestle with. How can we provide that differentiated learning experience? That individualized educational plan? They will have to focus on an environment where we may have the technical infrastructure in place, where students can bring their own devices to class,” said McKie.
The district will be holding a number of summits for anyone in the community to attend. Below are a list of meeting dates and times.
Tuesday, Sept. 27 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Hays High School Cafeteria
4800 Jack C. Hays Trail, Buda, TX 78610
Wednesday, Sept. 28 from 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m.
Kimbro Building @ Kyle Elementary
500 W. Blanco, Kyle, TX 78640
Wednesday, Sept. 28 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Lehman High School Cafeteria
1700 Lehman Rd., Kyle, TX 78640