By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – Technology advancements affect every area of education today, broadening students’ outlook and learning skills.
“I am a deep believer that technology infused in a thoughtful manner into our curriculum and instructional environments will make a major difference in how well students learn in our Marlborough classrooms,” said Tom Plati, director of instructional technology for the Marlborough District. Plati has been in his present position since July 1. For more than 30 years he has held similar positions in Shrewsbury, Wellesley, Hopedale and Lexington.
Two areas that are benefiting from new programs are elementary school math and science in grades 5-12. A mathematics automaticity program for grades 3 and 4 called FASTT – intended to build math fact fluency – is producing very positive data, according to Plati.
Multiple sets of probe technology that allow students to explore visually different scientific phenomena as they carry out experiments is being used by grades 5-12 at 1Lt. Charles W. Whitcomb School and Marlborough High School.
“The probes are very much of a plus for visual learners which represent about 60 percent of all middle and high school students,” stated Plati.
He attributes the success of the local program to the instructional technologists – Chris Randall at the high school; Cheryl Pulkowski at Whitcomb School; and Nancy Marrese at the three elementary schools.
“They are certified teachers with a wide variety of experiences in providing student instruction at their grade levels,” said Plati. “As former classroom teachers they are able to coach teachers on how to use technology to accomplish important curriculum goals and show how specific technology can be used by modeling the tool as well as the instructional practice that accompanies it.”
The specialists also work with teachers on their lesson plans that incorporate these new tools.
“I am excited that I can help to bridge the gap of what teachers know and what they want to accomplish,” said Marrese.
To properly practice the new processes, the city has provided digital devices for every student from grades 3-12. Modern curriculum tools have also been purchased for video conferencing, robotics, interactive computer labs and other uses.