What is PDL?
Horry County Schools Personalized Digital Learning (PDL) initiative places personal computing devices in the hands of all students in grades 3 -12. The new technological tools enable teachers to personalize education in ways not possible before. The initiative is funded in part through the local option sales tax for schools. The four-year rollout began with students in grades 6-8 in 2014. In the year 2014-15 students in grades 9-12 received devices, followed by grade 5 in 2015-16, and a shared model for grades 3 and 4 in the 2016-17 school year.
Over the past decade, technology has transformed the way we live and work. During this time the Horry County Schools has been a state leader in using technology as a tool for teaching, including a teacher laptop initiative, classroom interactive whiteboards, $25,000 school technology grants for all 56 schools and programs, project-based learning, a district virtual school, and extensive teacher training in using technology and technological tools. Our students and teachers have embraced the use of technology in our schools, and their enthusiasm can be seen in our district technology fair, our competitive robotics programs, and a wide range of technology-based student projects and products. Today’s students and teachers who are entering our classrooms are digital natives who use, understand, and value technological tools.
The personalized digital learning initiative takes the next step in moving our educational system forward by expanding the use of technology as a tool for learning. Through this initiative, we have had the opportunity to put technological tools into the hands of every student in grades 3-12.
The vision of Horry County Schools PDL Initiative is to transform teaching and learning by immersing all students in rich, authentic, relevant, personalized digital learning experiences that lead to college and career readiness and enable deeper learning across the disciplines. The district has thoughtfully teamed the rollout of 1:1 devices with an instructional model centered on blended learning. In the blended learning environment, classrooms are interactive and dynamic, blending the best of teacher talents and technological tools. Our teachers continue doing what they do best, working directly and closely with individual students and groups of students, while other students in the classroom learn using technology and digital content focused on their unique learning needs. Students also work collaboratively, using technology to create products, to conduct research, to develop multimedia projects, and to communicate.
Due to the availability of personal devices for students, online and adaptive digital content allows teachers to personalize learning for every student in a way that has not been possible in our classrooms before, helping us to accelerate student learning and provide “just in time” support for students. Today’s teachers have to accommodate a wide range of student differences, including literacy and numeracy skills, learning styles, different rates of learning, and student interests. Through the use of personal digital learning devices and the many technological tools and resources available, teachers are able to design and personalize learning experiences using student interests and learning strengths. Horry County Schools Personalized Digital Learning Initiative (PDL Initiative) helps to provide teachers and students with the needed tools to engage our students and to ensure that every student is college and career ready.