Brantley and his team have been working at a feverish pace to build a dynamic, cutting-edge environment for his district, fueled by technology.
During the 2014-2015 school year, Brantley and his team completed numerous projects — all with an eye toward strengthening the district’s technology infrastructure, improving its communication tools and increasing support from the community. In addition, under his leadership, the district’s IT team developed a 21st Century Learning Environment, which focuses on developing students’ higher-order thinking skills, communication and collaboration skills, and technology skills. To support the implementation of the 21st Century Learning Environment, Brantley and his team launched a technology training plan through the 21st Century Technology Academy, which provides virtual and face-to-face delivery options for training staff in the use of various instructional software and technological tools.
“Our ultimate goal is to create a personalized, learner-centered environment for our students and teachers,” says Brantley. “It is my charge to ensure we have a stable, robust environment that allows for collaborative and creative studentengaged learning.”
Brantley and his team also implemented a new student information system and online gradebook. The system is accessible to parents, which promotes parent engagement in their children’s education. Parents and students can use the portal to view attendance, schedules, grades and assignment details, and can access it via desktop or through a mobile app that works on iOS and Android devices. The system also keeps them up to date through notifications and messages.
DeKalb County School District’s IT department was recently the recipient of the competitive Connections for Classrooms grant and Brantley plans to use these funds to continue improving the district’s infrastructure to ensure its schools have a robust network with maximum bandwidth.
According to Brantley, the additional funds provided by the Connections for Classroom grant will allow the district to implement a state-of-the-art infrastructure. “We are now in a position to ensure that the educational technology and professional development align with the teaching and learning goals of the district,” he says.