It is hard to believe but we are already into our second semester of our full implementation of an iPad 1:1 Program. We have had a very full year this year, training our staff, our families and students on the new technology, but have much to celebrate. As we prepare for this second semester, we begin to look beyond year one into the continued application of these tools in our classrooms and the rollout of a 1:1 program for our high school. We have had the opportunity to help train our high school staff with their iPads and have begun the process of digitizing much of their already great curriculum. Over the next couple of weeks, I would like to use this blog to highlight some of the lessons learned, both through success and shortcomings of our programs.
We have now had the opportunity to host three schools from Southern California that have wanted to come and visit our program, to learn the lessons that we have learned. We want to take those lessons and share them with you as well, our broader community. We also are planning our first iPad Symposium on April 19th. Be sure to sign up if you are interested in learning more about the infrastructure, training and implementing of a successful 1:1 program.
We do feel very blessed in our program to date and believe that all involved would describe this as being a very successful program. Our students are adapting and embracing their digital classrooms and assignments, we are saving an incredible amount of paper, myself, I would estimate 3,000 sheets in my few classes that I teach, and have found that we not only cover the material to a deeper level, but are also able to have more class time. As one of our teachers noted, I am easily able to cover in four days what used to take five days. With the instant on feature and the always ready status of the student iPads, we have increased our classroom time without changing the start or end time of our school days!
As we have journeyed through our first year, there have been a lot of lessons and a lot of growth for all of us. We are blessed to have a great iPad Support team, Mr. Noteboom and Mrs. VandeVegte have given much of their time in making sure the program works well, by training our teachers, training our students and being a great first line of trouble shooting when issues come up. Our school has also directed the conversation, bringing in Tom VanderArk and his team to lead us in a great inservice looking into the future of education, beyond our borders and into the arena of global education.
We also have been blessed with visitors from Calvin Christian, Upland Christian and Crystal Cathedral, all eager to learn and provide an excellent Christian education for their students. I want to take the information we have shared with them and the information we are preparing for our symposium and share that here as well. The technology is changing quickly, the tools to manage it our always changing and adapting as well. It is a great time to be in educational technology!
If you have some specific questions or thoughts that you would like to have addressed, be sure to ask questions to these posts and I will do my best to answer them and give some good pointers as to what we are finding works or does not work. I will do my best to take what I am learning from both my Technologist hat and my Teacher hat to share some great insights and suggestions as you consider or investigate a 1:1 program.