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Tech Brings the “Four C’s” to Life

April 01, 2016

If you want to know all the ways that tech can make an impact in the classroom, look no further than the South Pasadena Unified School District. You’ll see students working in groups on online projects, creating iPad videos (and replaying them in slow motion!), and sharing the results of science experiments on the interactive whiteboard. Teachers at SPUSD are all about the “four C’s” – and no, these aren’t the four C’s of diamond buying (cut, carat, clarity, etc.).  For SPUSD, the four C’s are communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking – and technology has  helped them bring those ideas to classrooms all across the district.

Starting in elementary school, SPUSD students have access to iPads and laptops, which they use for everything from taking assessments to working on group projects. With systems like Google Apps for Education, teachers have an easy way to share resources and information, and students can log on to secure accounts from any computer to work together on creative projects. The district’s tech coach, David Speck, says he’s seen the impact of tech on those four C’s firsthand. “These tools give students greater access to programs that allow them to communicate and collaborate with one another, as well as think critically and creatively,” he says.

But perhaps the most important “C” is the communication between teachers and students. Thanks to digital tools, teachers are able to track student progress and set up extra meetings or assign materials that will help the whole class stay on track. According to Speck, technology has “transformed teaching and learning in all disciplines” – not only by giving students new ways to collaborate, think critically, and be creative, but also by providing teachers with the insights they need to communicate with students and take learning to the next level.