What’s Right With Our Schools: Cleveland’s BLADE Project
CLEVELAND, TN (WDEF) – Cleveland City Schools complete a momentous, multi-year project. Every student in the Cleveland City School system now has a laptop. BLADE is an acronym for Blended Learning and Digital Enhancement, and it’s a cutting edge example of what’s right with our schools.
Dr. Cody Raper is the Director of Innovation for Cleveland City Schools.
He explains, “The BLADE program is an actual comprehensive program. We’re not just putting technology in the classroom and being single at it. We’re providing training for the teachers, and we have three instructional technologist that we call BLADE facilitators, that work with the teachers both one one one and in groups, making sure that they understand how to use the technology, and then you support the students at home we have installed access points and all of our parking lot, so students have access to a local Wi-Fi in their community, and then we also have hot spots that they can check out and take home to make sure that they can extend that learning they pass the classroom and into their homes as well.”
Lisa Earby adds, “We are K through five here at Candy’s Creek Cherokee Elementary school, and we did just get new devices for all of us students. We’ve just been rolling them out in the last few weeks, and you know the kids are excited about having devices. We’ve had two devices here and there; some iPads and other things, but for each student to have their own laptop has been really exciting for them.”
Dr. Russell Dyer is the Director of Schools for Cleveland Public Schools.
He explains, “I want to say that Covid really brought to light one of the needs for our laptops and the devices that we have. There are many needs when it comes to technology and a technology piece is never going to replace a teacher. The teachers will always be needed in that classroom experience, but this is another tool that the teacher can have to really help students to do their best, and to bring out those students who need that special help, but during Covid, you are right, there are times when students have to be quarantined at home, or they may have Covid in some cases, or like in December when we did have to shut down our school buildings and send everyone home, that made having a device a pretty important piece of the education puzzle.