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People to watch in 2014 Burt Lo is changing the way Galt schools use technology

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Posted: Saturday, January 11, 2014 12:00 am

Burt Lo is working to connect hundreds of Galt Joint Union Elementary School District students to the Internet, to support projects funded by the federal Race to the Top grant the district received last year.

He was hired from outside the district as the coordinator of instructional technology integration, a new position created to meet the district’s goal of creating personalized learning tools for each student, according to Superintendent Karen Schauer.

Lo, a former middle school teacher, has overseen the installation of wireless access points across the district and distribution of new Chromebooks at each school site, with the goal of increasing staff and student access to technology.

In 2014, Lo will continue to design and integrate technology resources through the district’s new online learning platform.

While this is related to the new Common Core State Standards, Lo said it is increasingly important for students to become proficient with technology not solely to take tests and complete school assignments, but to be ready for college and a career in a world that is increasingly connected.

“Teachers and students now have many ways to communicate learning within the classroom and to the community at large,” Lo said in an email.

Most of the new positions created using Race to the Top funding involved hiring current district staff members, according to Schauer.

But in Lo’s case, Schauer said, he was the best overall fit for what she called the “exciting direction” the elementary district is headed in with its Bright Future for Galt Students initiative.

“Burt is leading critical and complex technology and learning changes in 2014 to support personalized learning to implement the Common Core State Standards,” Schauer said.

“For all learners to be college and career ready, school systems must have the infrastructure, human capacity and state-of-the-art technology and learning tools to apply technology at all levels across the school system and beyond,” she said. “Some tools are ready-to-go and some need to be developed or designed.”

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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