Superintendent Voice: Don’t Stick Your Toe In, Take a Leap!

July 21, 2015 | Guest Author

greg gorman
Greg Gorman is in his 4th year as Superintendent at Northeast-Arma located in Arma, Kansas.  This is his 8th year as a Superintendent and has 25 total years in educational administration.  He has been married 33 years and has two grown daughters.

Back about 10 years ago I was principal of a high school that had made the decision we were going to be a 1:1 school.  We had done all the research necessary and felt we were ready, but we also knew if we had to wait on buy-in from all our staff, this may never happen, so we launched.  Of course we had some bumps, but we made it through and it really opened my eyes to how the use of technology could impact students and their learning.

I became aware of CK-12 several years ago at my previous school and showed it to a teacher whom I knew would like it.  She was a science teacher and immediately implemented it in her classroom.  The next fall she requested textbooks and my response was “why”?  You have a great resource in CK-12, she still felt she needed a text, and my response was “quit sticking your toe in the water and take a leap.”  She did and to this day it is her sole resource for her science classes.

When I came to Northeast four years ago one of the first things I did was show our math and science teachers CK-12 and we now have a couple of teachers that use it as their source for content and a couple of others use it to supplement their text.  We are now a 1:1 district with Chromebooks and will also expand our usage of FlexBooks.

I have watched this product grow and expand over the years.  I am so impressed at how each teacher can personalize their content for instruction instead of merely going Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc.  The addition of grade levels and disciplines is also impressive, because it is obvious they are not standing pat with their product.  I envision usage to expand and as a superintendent. I know well the cost of textbooks and with budgets dwindling everywhere they are becoming cost prohibitive.  That is fine with me since I feel FlexBooks are a better option anyway!