One of the purposes of this blog is to provide answers to questions. Here are a couple.
How are the students being prepared to use the iPads? Half the 5th grade are in the technology specials class and the other half are meeting with Mr. Carpenter in study hall. Some of the topics being covered are:
- Smart password creation
- Internet Safety and Privacy
- Acceptable Use Policy
- Using the apps of the iPad
Why pilot a 1:1 mobile device program? It is a natural next step for ACDS as we already have a fully built out technology infrastructure that gives all our students easy access to computer labs, laptop and tablet carts along with computers in the classrooms. With our belief that learning should be individualized and that students should have all the tools at their finger tips to access and evaluate information to then produce projects that demonstrate their understanding, it stands to reason that we need to make the next step one to put a computer in the hands of each student. Each 5th grade student will be assigned an iPad that he/she will have access to throughout the school day. The iPads will remain at school with the students using their home computers to connect to online tools for collaboration and creativity.
A second motivation for the pilot is that we are teaching our students the skills to be learners ready for an ever changing world where they will need to be problem solvers understanding how to work in teams ready to innovate and communicate new ideas and approaches. These 21 century skills as developed by a consortium of corporate and governmental leaders outline a skill set that is very different than what was needed in the 20th century factory worker education model. To support this approach to teaching and learning, schools around the world are making the move to change the way they teach and to empower students with devices to support the attainment of these 21 century skills.
As news sources report from time to time, Singapore has been a leading nation for its innovation and willingness to adopt to changing needs. They started a program several years ago entitled "21C" where they incorporated the 21st century skills developed here in the US for their national curriculum. These skills are very similar to the ones we work to have our ACDS graduates attain.