"Sharing knowledge occurs when people are genuinely interested in helping one another develop new capacities for action; it is about creating learning processes."
-Peter Senge, Sharing Knowledge, June 1998
In 1998, the Byram Hills School District embarked on a two year project to formally integrate technology into the curriculum from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The goal of this initiative was and continues to be to use technology in curriculum areas to create meaningful learning experiences for each and every student in the district.
Essential to our technology initiative is the idea of the "learning community." The concept of "learning communities" is adapted from Peter Senge’s book, The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization. While Senge’s book is devoted to improving performance and profitability through learning communities in a corporate setting, his ideas are transferable to a school setting. A learning community is a group of people who are dedicated to learning together in a safe environment that encourages dialogue, feedback, reflection and empowerment.
As a district, we are devoted to providing our students with the means, knowledge, and opportunity to excel and become productive, responsible digital citizens. Our professional learning communities have been formed within each of our schools to address common technology goals and create worthwhile learning experiences for students. Each community is facilitated by a faculty member who has received training in the technology and techniques with which we are working. Teachers collaborate monthly to discover and share technology practices which benefit student learning.
Reflection upon our work is an integral part of the district's professional learning communities. This includes self-reflection, group reflection, as well as reflection on process and product. Of primary importance is the reflection on student learning. Byram Hills is committed to providing our students and faculty with the technological means for life long learning in the 21st century.