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Another Successful Year in Nashua, NH for Digital Wish and Dell Powering the Possible
Posted by Jonathan Gallup at 10:26:06 AM Wed 09/17/2014
Back to ['Press', 'Releases']

Manchester Center, VT – September 15, 2014 - For the past six years, Digital Wish has been implementing one-computer-per-child programs in Vermont and New Hampshire schools, as well as teaching a turnkey Digital Citizenship program across the country.  As a non-profit on a mission to bring technology to American classrooms, the team just completed their 2013-2014 implementation in Nashua, NH, thanks to a grant from Dell’s Powering the Possible program. Trainers spent the past year delivering computers, weekly educator and student trainings, a complete IT curriculum, an after-school program, and support to another school in the Nashua, NH school district.  In addition, the Digital Citizenship training reached a major milestone by working with over 50 schools spanning Vermont, New Hampshire, California, and New Jersey. 

In the 1:1 programs, Digital Wish’s trainers modeled the entire process of technology adoption, and progressively reduced the initiative planning time from 18 months to just 4 weeks, saving schools tremendous amounts of time and money.  Both teachers and students report a wide range of gains including increased IT skills, collaboration, engagement in learning, technological proficiency, computer access, and dramatic improvements in the understanding of Internet safety issues.

Over the course of the 2013-2014 school year, Digital Wish trained 127 students and 15 educators, teaching a different element of IT integration including digital citizenship, digital presentation, and reliable research.  Students participated in a cyber-safety poster contest and created projects around the relevant curriculum topics.  An after-school game coding class further engaged students every week.

“It is truly incredible to see the advancements of students and educators when technology can be used as a tool to teach the curriculum,” said Eric Bird, Project Director for Digital Wish.  “We have entire classrooms of engaged, entertained, and motivated students, solving their own problems, thinking critically, and working collaboratively toward common goals.  They are receiving relevant 21st century skills that will help their future careers and the community as a whole.”

Digital Wish closed out the school year with a field trip to Nashua Dell to conduct employee interviews, participate in hands-on technology projects, and hear about career opportunities in the IT industry.  Major impact in this underserved school included 625 hours of educator training and 5,335 student hours spent learning from weekly technology lessons.

 

2013-2014 Nashua Data
113 students took this survey, both before and after Digital Wish's year-long computing program.  Participants were about half 4th graders and half 5th graders; and about half girls and half boys.  Technology training classes were taught in classes each week for 7 months. A trainer worked with the students and teachers once a week to teach Digital Wish’s IT curriculum. The curriculum covered six unique units on technology usage and practical implementation. You can download the complete report here.

 

Here are just a few gains from the survey:

  • Increased Usage - After the program, students used a computer every day in the classroom 30 times more than before.  Students who reported participating in 10 or more technology projects that required them to solve a problem, gather information, or draw a conclusion rose from 12% to 86%.
  • Increased Safe Usage - After the program, students rated themselves an average of 9 (on a scale of 1-10) or higher when they rated how well they could protect their personal information on the internet, treat other people with respect on the internet, and safely use the internet.  After the program, students rated themselves 8.5 or higher when asked how much they knew about what they legally can and cannot do on the internet, their rights on the internet, and their responsibilities on the internet.
  • Increasing IT Skills - Students rated themselves higher in every single technology skill after the program, and more than doubled their self-rating on how well they can use spreadsheets or Excel.  The percentage of students who said they were beginners on computers decreased from 11% to 4%, a near 300% drop.  The number of students who can figure out almost anything on their own while using a computer rose from 29% to 35.4%.
  • Increased Collaboration – Students collaborating with adults at least once a week while using technology rose from 46% to 94%.  The number of students who collaborated with other students at least once a week while using technology more than tripled.

 

Anecdotal Gains

In addition to the measurable improvements above, teachers and students provided anecdotes on their experiences:

Students were asked to share the most interesting or exciting thing they have done with a computer.

  • “I learned a new skill and that is researching faster than I did before and to do it correctly.”
  • “My favorite thing was that I could teach my parents to be safe on the internet.”

Students were challenged to tell their school principal anything about having technology in school.  Here are some direct quotes:

  • “School is absolutely nothing without the internet and technology.  It makes school work easier so you don't fail.  You can learn something new with the computer.”
  • “I would tell her that it’s better because it will be easy to do school work and every one would be happy.”
  • “Technology is great in school because it will prepare us for the future and we can now do special tests on the computer which means that we do not need to use papers and pencil as much and that means the environment is getting help.”

 

About Digital Wish

Learn more about Digital Wish's research and download more reports here:

At Digital Wish, teachers make technology wishes, and donors make those wishes come true with contributions, bringing technology to needy classrooms in all 50 states. Since August 2009, Digital Wish has granted over 30,000 classroom technology wishes through its online network of over 64,000 teachers, and delivered over $14 million in technology products to American classrooms directly impacting over 500,000 students. In research, Digital Wish secured over $1.6 million in funding to put computing programs into 50 schools, reducing the planning time for technology adoption from 18 months to just 4 weeks, and achieving measured gains in student engagement and 21st century skills. Read our research.

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jon Gallup, [email protected]
Digital Wish
PO Box 255
Milton, DE 19968
(802) 375-6721 X-222


Tags: dell, powering the possible, one-computer-per-child, one on one, 1:1 computing

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