Idea of 24/7 access to learning catches on at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Students at the North Carolina district have begun to see devices as tools for educational opportunities, not just entertainment, Aubrey Harrison says.

EdScoop Staff
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EdScoop Staff
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Technology leaders at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have been promoting the idea of 24/7 access to learning this year, and students there have really taken to it, Aubrey Harrison tells EdScoop TV.

Because of this idea that learning can take place anytime and anywhere, many students in the North Carolina district are beginning to see their devices — from mobile phones to tablets to laptops — as more than just sources of entertainment.

“They don’t look at it just as a tool where they can post to social media or watch Netflix,” says Harrison, personalized digital learning specialist at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and a 2018 CoSN/EdScoop NextGen Leader. “They’re learning this device has educational opportunities for learning as opposed to something that’s just going to entertain them for a few minutes.”

This was possible, Harrison tells EdScoop TV, because district leaders at Charlotte-Mecklenburg were intentional about making learning not just accessible, but engaging and empowering, too.

But perhaps even more critical, he says, is that they had laid the proper groundwork.

"I think it’s important to make sure that the infrastructure is there — all the little things we might take for granted, those need to be emphasized at the beginning,” Harrison says, “things as little as how to log in to the device, how to access the device — particularly for our younger students.”

Learn more about Harrison's efforts to expand access to digital learning at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools:

What kind of impact are you seeing from that project so far?

What advice would you offer to others considering this type of project?

What edtech issues do you feel are most important for educators or technology directors to pay attention to this year?

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