Pinellas County Schools Adds New Tech Magnet Program
Pinellas County Schools in Florida has established a new technology-oriented magnet program at Tyrone Middle School in St. Petersburg, FL.
The program, named the Center for Innovation and Digital Learning,
launched at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year and serves
students in grades 6-8. As part of the program, students each
receive a 10-inch Microsoft Surface Pro tablet, which they use for
in-class assignments, homework and assessments in their core subject
classes and electives. The students also receive training on Dell
desktop and Apple MacBook computers.
The focal point of the
program is personalized learning, with lessons geared to the individual
needs of each student, according to information on the district's
Web site. Students in the program participate in project-based lessons,
interactive online activities and face-to-face lessons designed to
encourage critical thinking.
Students in grades 6 and 7 are required take a technology class. Through this class, students can earn IC3 Spark certification in digital literacy and "an Information and Communication
Technology Certification bundle that includes training in Microsoft
Office and OneNote," according to a report in the Tampa Bay Times.
Grade 8 students also have the opportunity to intern at local
The district purchased $115,000 worth of new
technology for the magnet program, according to the Tampa Bay Times. In
preparation for the program, teachers attended a Microsoft training
boot camp over the summer and participated in a technology conference
Students anywhere in Pinellas County are
eligible to apply for the program, although students who attend either
of the district's two technology-oriented elementary magnet programs
get "feeder pattern priority" to attend the Center for Innovation and
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.