Rolling out new technology—whether it’s a device or a learning platform—can be challenging for a lot of districts.
So, when we heard about the fantastic results that one of our newest customers was having—in just two-short months—we had to share their story!
Meet Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School District
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County (WSFC) is the fourth-largest district in North Carolina. They chose Haiku Learning this summer, and they're currently rolling it out as an optional initiative in their 81-school district.
A Quick Snapshot of Early Successes
- Over 1,400 classes created in the first 10 days of school!
- Over 3,000 active classes and almost 15,000 unique users after two months!
- Finance department is using a class to collect payroll forms
- Accountability department is using a class for testing plans
- Senior staff is using a class for weekly meetings and Board of Education meetings.
- Program managers and coaches are using classes to share resources, pacing guides benchmark timelines for subject specific teachers
Of course, we get excited when we hear about such usage!
As our CEO and Cofounder Bryan Falcón said, “The technology a district invests in is only effective if people are actually using it and everyone sees the value of it. That’s why we develop Haiku Learning: To exclusively focus on the unique needs of K-12, so the value is experienced by everyone in the K-12 school community.”
How did they do it?
According to Heather Horton, the Director of Digital Teaching and Learning at WSFC, the success can be attributed to choosing the right technology and having a carefully planned implementation.
Below is a quick overview of what they did and continue to do.
Try different platforms—and don’t be afraid to go your own way
First, WSFC considered the true needs of the district. When they evaluated options—including the state-recommended learning platform—the District determined that Haiku Learning better fit their educational objectives instead.
"I've always been a believer that Haiku Learning is easy to use. It's just so intuitive...We hit the ground running, getting people on board without any training. Every department got really creative about how they could use it,” said Heather.
Train the trainers first
Next, they took a unique approach to implementation. While many districts introduce teachers to a new learning platform during back-to-school orientations, WSFC chose to first train their instructional leaders and coaches over the summer.
“As [instructional leaders] saw the usefulness of Haiku Learning, we helped them create resource sites for each content area and move all curriculum resources to those classes” said Heather. “Teachers were able to join the class created by our instructional leaders and find resources aligned to their current units of study.”
Here's a screenshot from a resources site for social studies instructors.
Inspire administrators to use it
Another key to success was early buy-in from district leaders. In August, Heather and her team held information sessions with administrators, where they demonstrated how administrators could use Haiku Learning to effectively communicate with staff, model best practices for teachers, and facilitate training and faculty meetings.
Heather told her colleagues, “Don’t just think of a learning platform as a ‘student-teacher’ tool. Think of it as an ‘editor-reader’ tool.”
Here's a screenshot from staff site in one of their elementary schools.
Continue to refine
The district has plans for future training spread out over several sessions as teachers go deeper into the platform.
In addition, they have plans for a Haiku Learning Ambassador program, where each school will train a representative to be an ‘expert’ in Haiku Learning and take that knowledge back to their school to help lead ongoing training and professional development.
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