State Superintendent Torlakson lauds Laguna Beach as a leading digital district (video)

How’s this for recognition? State Superintendent Tom Torlakson recently cited the Laguna Beach Unified School District as one of three “leading digital districts” in California.

“These bright spots serve as lights of encouragement and guidance for our state,” Torlakson wrote in this letter to district leaders about technology and equity.

Laguna Beach, which was mentioned along with the Napa Valley and Riverside unified school districts, has been actively promoting the use of technology in its classrooms. In fact, the district piloted a Bring Your Own Device program at Laguna Beach High School in October 2014 that has since been expanded districtwide.

“Our teachers connect with students everyday within the classrooms,” said LBUSD Superintendent Sherine Smith, “but it was our turn to strengthen the connection with students. Using technology that they already use at home is important because students have learned how to best utilize their own devices to take ownership of their own learning.”

In addition to BYOD, Laguna Beach Unified carefully selects web-based software, including Haiku and Pear Deck, to ensure virtual learning environments are engaging in and out of classrooms. Moreover, the district’s 4Cs Learning Environments project was established to strengthen the link between the school environment and student learning.

“We found that after implementing the Common Core, teachers were creating collaborative lessons but were battling their classrooms,” said Chief Technology Officer Mike Morrison. “We have empowered our teachers to become researchers and testers for the concepts, and together we have designed truly remarkable learning spaces.”

Watch a flexible classroom space in action in the video above. And you can learn more about technology in Laguna Beach Unified by visiting the district’s award-winning website, specifically this page.