Growing Digital Learners: How Boyle County Schools Supports Learning Without Limits Through Converge
Digital Learning is alive and well in Boyle County Public Schools. Situated in Danville, KY, the district’s commitment to promoting anytime, anywhere learning led to the 2015-2016 school year deployment of 1800 Chromebooks to support a 1:1 environment for all middle and high school students. After much consideration of the best learning platform to facilitate instruction and engage learners in their new digital environment, the district chose Converge as their online learning management system.
Susan Taylor, District Technology Coordinator, and Stephanie Wade, District Technology Integration Specialist, play a vital role in the success of this digital transition. To ensure a successful implementation, they recognized the importance of having Converge as an instructional tool that could transform the way teachers communicate and share information with their students.
Through Converge, teachers centralize instruction online by delivering resources, assignments, assessments, discussion boards, and even mobile notifications through a web-based platform that offers 24/7 access from any device.
When asked why the district selected Converge, Stephanie commented, “We really liked Converge’s ability to organize content into clear learning modules that could be constructed in advance and released to the students at just the right time. We wanted a system that would support our comprehensive unit structures with flexible delivery. We also appreciated that a company existed right here in Kentucky to meet our digital needs. The team at eTechCampus has been great.”
The decision to select Converge LMS came after the district launched a pilot program in the year leading up to the 1:1 rollout. This not only helped evaluate the platform, but also built capacity for effective use in the schools.
“Converge is very intuitive and teachers appreciate its user-friendly design. It has been a game changer for us,” commented Wade, who also noted that teachers who may have been hesitant to use technology in the past have embraced Converge as their go-to tool for transforming instruction. “It’s not just for classroom use. We’ve got athletic coaches leveraging Converge as their communication tool for practices and game schedules.”
In addition, Converge proved an effective system for facilitating Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) days where snow days become learning days. Now, instead of endless paper packets, students can access all their instructional materials online through Converge. Wade added, “Our teachers love that they can front-load modules and turn on and off student access to specific content with a single click. It reinforces the importance of preparation and thoughtful instruction and our kids now have a digital binder to support a more individualized learning experience.”
She continued, “We can also monitor usage, and administrators have one-click access into their teacher courses, which has been a great way to help facilitate instructional walkthroughs and evaluations.”
In a recent visit to the district, Heather Wheeler, Spanish Teacher at Boyle County High School, invited us into her classroom to see how she embraces digital learning with Converge.
Almost instantly, students were logged into their Converge course, actively engaged, and collaborating on a group assignment using Google Docs. Wheeler noted she appreciates the Google workflow within Converge because she can view and edit student Google doc submissions as well as other file formats directly inside the Converge Power Grader instead of receiving hundreds of share requests or managing multiple assignment folders. Valuable feedback is more timely, helping students stay on track.
When asked about the key student advantages of Converge, Wheeler commented “Everything the students need is right there in one place and they always have access to the content.” From a teaching perspective, she added, “I can easily copy modules between courses and re-use my course next year. It’s nice having a standardized platform for all users.”
Stephanie Wade also spoke about the advantages of one cohesive platform, commenting that Converge helps to support their district common assessments. She concluded, “At this point, we’ve got teachers that couldn’t live without Converge!”
Boyle County Schools has created a dynamic learning landscape that’s truly palpable. Through a commitment to exceptional teaching and learning, coupled with an effective use of technology, the district is paving a way for educational innovation in Kentucky.