Access Learning

Hawaii’s students live in a world that is increasingly complex and driven by rapid changes in technology. Just 15 years ago, the Internet as we know it did not exist; today, it plays a critical role in how we work, learn, play and connect. The Access Learning pilot project strives to harness the power of technology to support innovations in teaching and learning.


The Access Learning pilot project (2013-15) focused on three main components:

  • Providing educators with support and resources on instructional strategies that incorporate technology as a tool to engage students and promote collaboration and learning.
  • Building capacity while providing support for schools to deploy and manage technology.
  • Provide educators with core digital curricular materials for English language arts and connect educators with school specific digital resources for all other content areas to support the integration of technology in learning.

Access Learning

“This is the perfect opportunity for kids. Teaching practices have grown to include 21st century skills and student performance has increased tremendously.”

“Having the technology accessible to students will not only enhance student learning, but allow students to move into the 21st century efficiently and successfully.”

“I have found that technology allows students to express their learning in many different ways. It also allows me to differentiate my instruction for students depending on their specific needs.”

— Feedback from teachers in Access Learning schools

In Summer 2013, the Department unveiled Access Learning, a pilot project to study the impact of technology and digital curricular resources on teaching and learning, funded with an $8.2 million appropriation during the 2013 Legislative session. Lessons learned were used to inform next steps toward technology integration into curriculum and schools, under Hawaii's Future Ready initiative​. The following schools applied for and were selected to participate in Access Learning:

  • Keaau Elementary
  • Mililani Mauka
  • Mililani Waena
  • Moanalua Middle (Principal Lisa Nagamine offers her school's pilot experience here.)
  • Nanaikapono Elementary
  • Nanakuli Elementary
  • Nanakuli High and Intermediate
  • Pahoa Elementary

Pilot schools received devices for every student and teacher equipped with Common Core-aligned digital curriculum for ELA. Access Learning doesn’t focus on the device, however, rather on how technology can be a tool to support teachers’ efforts to personalize instruction and engage students. Some examples of potential outcomes include:

  • Consolidating multiple books, publications, teacher handouts, and other learning materials.
  • Connecting education to a near limitless supply of resources that could support personalized learning, tailored to the needs of the student, in line with the State’s implementation of tiered interventions to support student learning.
  • Cultivating key technical skills for college- and career-readiness by exposing students to technology.
  • Offering extended access to learning through online courses, web-based materials, and teacher-directed activities (with broadband access).
  • Eliminating schools’ struggle with increasingly outdated and expensive printed learning materials.
  • Help schools efficiently and effectively administer assessments by using the devices as opposed to cycling students through a computer lab.


YEAR 1 (2013-14): ​

  • Summer 2013: Schools applied and were selected for the pilot. The project team began meeting with schools to develop implementation plans.
  • Fall 2013: Schools received their devices and charging carts. Teachers, tech coordinators and administrators received in-depth professional development.
  • Spring 2014: All student devices deployed and integrated into classroom instruction.​
  • The external evaluator's report on Year 1 can be viewed here​.

YEAR 2 (2014-15):

  • Professional development and ongoing evaluation at the eight schools continued through 2014-15, funded with $400,000 in Impact Aid​. The external evaluator's report on Year 2 can be viewed here​.

Presentations to the Legislature

We've annually reported on program progress to the House and Senate education committees. You can review materials here:
  • ​Year 1: Feb. 28, 2014 [VIEW]
  • Year 2: Feb. 20, 2015​ [VIEW]

Future Ready​Lessons learned from the Access Learning pilot inform our efforts to expand digital device integration statewide, assisting and supporting schools that are ready for the transition.

Contact Information

Stephanie Shipton

Phone: 808-282-0552


Strategic Plan campaign

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