(News & Record (Greensboro, NC) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) June 24--GREENSBORO -- Middle school teachers are back in the classroom for training related to Guilford County Schools' new tablet computers.
Teachers had similar training last year, when the district first started using tablets from Brooklyn-based vendor Amplify.
There were numerous problems with those devices.
Most students began taking the devices home in late September. But Superintendent Maurice "Mo" Green halted use of the tablets in October because of numerous problems with them, particularly partially melted chargers.
This fall, students at all 24 middle schools will use new, remodeled Amplify tablets, and this summer's training is one of many phases of that rollout.
This training focuses less on how to use the devices and more on meeting needs of individual students.
Two main goals are to help teachers personalize instruction and use the tablets in more meaningful ways, said Jake Henry, who oversees the implementation of the tablets.
District middle schools will host teachers for training today and at different times this summer. About 100 teachers from several schools attended Monday's training at Guilford Middle School.
Many attended a session on engaging black male students led by Shai Woodbury, one of the officials who are training teachers on personalized learning. She talked to teachers about the importance of studying student data and connecting with students.
Woodbury also gave the teachers examples of activities and of subtle ways they can use classroom decorations to connect with their students.
She told them not to put students in single categories.
"Expand and broaden who they are," Woodbury said.
The school system is leasing the tablets with a portion of a $30 million federal Race to the Top grant.
Officials say a spring pilot of the tablets, involving about 300 students at three middle schools, went well.
Officials will distribute tablets in stages to students this fall. The last group of students should get the devices in November.
Contact Marquita Brown at (336) 373-7002, and follow @mbrownNR on Twitter.
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