Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools: Expanding Student Creativity and Literacy

Located in scenic Charlotte, North Carolina, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) provides academic instruction to 144,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. CMS prides itself on diversity with a student population that represents 160 different countries.

Besides providing students with safe email, file sharing and collaboration tools, the district has implemented a successful blended learning initiative with more than 75% of its Chromebooks being used every day.

And CMS is not alone in pushing the envelope with new technology. A recent study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project and the National Writing Project (NWP) cites that many educators now view technology as a tool to spur collaboration, fuel creativity and encourage students to improve their writing. In fact, 78% of the educators surveyed in the study said digital technologies “encourage student creativity and personal expression.”

On trend, Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s innovative ways to engage students through creative writing are another great example of how to expand student creativity and literacy in the classroom.

“We’ve engaged students in active literacy projects in all content areas using the Gaggle blogging application,” said Bill Sheskey, the district’s director of instructional technology. “This project has guided students into a secure self-publishing environment. Our students’ interest in creative writing increases when they use the Gaggle blogging tool.”

One of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ many goals is to set high standards and prepare students to be leaders in a technologically savvy and globally competitive world. The perfect combination of the district’s goals, values and innovative thinking is proof that it’s on the right track.