LIMA — The Lima League of Women Voters held its annual meeting Wednesday night at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church and heard from Lima Superintendent Jill Ackerman.
Ackerman spoke about some exciting new developments coming to the school system in the form of new technology that will revolutionize teaching.
Lima schools will be one of eleven school districts across the country using Watson.
“Watson is the result of our partnership with IBM and Office Depot, and what Watson and education will do for us is Watson will be able to take any information or any data that we give it and it will help us to make quick, informed decisions about individual kids and allow us to be able to personalize learning in an easy way,” said Ackerman.
The data has always been there. Watson will help utilize the data in ways the school district couldn’t do before.
“We have tons and tons of data, and we have had lots of data for many years and we struggle with finding time and ways to use that data effectively in our instruction because we only have so many hours in a day. What Watson is doing is, we feed Watson the data, we feed Watson the standards. Watson’s learning the national standards, the state standards. We feed Watson our pacing calendars. We give Watson student demographic data. We give Watson student academic data and then what Watson does because Watson learns is it will help to individualize teaching and learning for each kid,” she said.
Watson will be accessible for teachers through their iPads.
“Every teacher has an iPad and so they’re able to move around the room with that technology in their hand and then within that screen will be every student in their class. They simply can touch on that student and all of that information is right there,” she said.
In August the teachers will be trained on Watson and they will implement the new technology when school starts this fall.
“We decided we’re going to pilot it, grades 5 through 8, and we’re going to do mathematics first, then English language arts and then we will do science and social studies. We will decide if we will do a K-4 grade band next or a 9-12, but the goal is by the end of the year we’re K-12 in those four content areas, then we begin to think about how we’re going to integrate the arts into that as well,” Ackerman added.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.