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Scaling Education Innovation, the Mooresville Summer Connection 2012

August 8, 2012
at 8:34 am PST

Innovation is alive and well in education. You don’t have to look far to find teachers using technology to personalize teaching and learning in their classrooms. There are also many outstanding examples of schools of distinction that have integrated technology into curriculum and instruction. However, there are precious few examples of school districts that are systemically employing technology as a foundational strategy to improve student achievement. That’s why the Mooresville Graded School District (MGSD) stands out as a shining example of 21st century education and why their recently concluded Summer Connection 2012 institute is so important.

A vision of “every child, every day”, digital resources and a culture of caring are keys to the success of the Mooresville Digital Conversion. However, reform does not happen without leadership. Mooresville is fortunate to be led by one of the most innovative educators in American education today. Listen as Dr. Mark Edwards, Superintendent of the MGSD describes the impetus and impact of Mooresville Digital Conversion.

MGSD ranks 100 out of 115 North Carolina school districts in funding yet ranks 2nd in student achievement and its graduation rate is also the 2nd highest in the state. Can these results be replicated in other districts? Is there a way to scale the Mooresville model? That’s where Summer Connection comes in.

Each year, MGSD organizes Summer Connection, a three day institute to share lessons about how to successfully implement a 1:1 laptop program and transition to a digital teaching and learning environment. This year over 400 participants from 16 States and 37 school districts traveled to Mooresville to learn all aspects of the Mooresville Digital Conversion model.

There were separate tracks for central office/administrative staff, school level administrative staff, secondary teachers, elementary teachers and technicians. Sessions covered the full range of topics to deploy and integrate technology across the curriculum, personalize learning and impact student engagement and achievement.

Attendees received tips, tricks and templates. More importantly, they received hope and inspiration. Summer Connection participants were inspired by a clear vision of what is possible in education and a conviction that they too could successfully travel the path towards a Digital Conversion and realize a vision of “every child, every day”.

Check out Tom Vander Ark’s blog for a nice recap of Summer Connection 2012. It’s not too early to make plans and reserve a slot for your district at Summer Connection 2013. For a more detailed overview of the Mooresville Digital Conversion, you can watch this replay of Dr. Edwards’ and Dr. Scott Smith’s session at ISTE 2012.

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