Middletown schools 1 of 3 districts nationally to win tech award

The fast-paced, digital learning upgrades in Middletown Schools has earned the district a prestigious award.

The Butler County school system is among the winners of the International Society for Technology in Education honoring the district for its innovative incorporations of digital learning technology into its classrooms.

The Washington D.C.-based ISTE has helped Middletown Schools modernize its learning technology, said district officials.

Middletown Schools was among three school system winners nationally of the “ISTE Distinguished District Award” with nine district officials, principals and Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr. named as recipients for their work during the 2018-19 school year.

ISTE officials cited Middletown as among the “innovative school districts … making a difference,” while using learning tech to “accelerate the use of technology to solve tough problems and inspire innovation.”

It’s the first time the city school system has won the award, which has been presented annually by the non-profit ISTE for 40 years.

“ISTE has been a wonderful partner in our work to implement the Middie Modernization Movement and transform the Middletown school district so each and every student receives an exceptional learning experience,” said Fran Morrison, senior director of curriculum and innovation.

“Teachers have reported to the (district) curriculum department that using the ISTE standards in their daily teaching has improved their teaching and helps connect students with other district’s students digitally.

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“Because of ISTE, many of our teachers are now Google certified, which supports our teaching and learning at the elementary level because they use Google Classroom. Teachers also use Schoology to deliver content and understanding in a creative and digitally relevant manner.”

Since his arrival in 2017 Superintendent Styles has pushed a series of classroom reforms many of which include upgrading both the technical capabilities of teachers and other staffers to use the most modern methods to teach and improving the equipment used.

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Melissa Prohaska, a district instructional technology specialist, credited the ISTE instruction and accreditation with improving learning.

“Because I do not have traditional classroom teacher role, ISTE helped me find ways to incorporate digital learning and inspire teachers to integrate technology and digital learning in their classroom environments,” said Prohaska.

“Through ISTE, I now look at our curriculum standards from a wider, district lens to see how the ISTE standards can be implemented to enhance learning across all classroom grade bands,” she said.

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