Today was very exciting as students got their first look at their iPad which elicited many smiles. Students were allowed to personalize their screen saver photo, and upon receipt of the iPad, proceeded to log in and check out their new device. Principal, Kristen Okabayashi and Technology Director, Kevin Jones were thanked throughout the day in appreciation of this memorable moment.
After several years of research, Hope School is pleased to offer middle school students iPad Air devices as part of their commitment to offering high quality technology to students. In addition to the state of the art computer lab, interactive white boards in all classrooms as well as personal computers in all classrooms, the iPads will serve as valuable learning tools used to support teaching that is happening in the classroom.
Having researched laptops, netbooks, an other tablets, the school determined that iPads would be the best learning tool for our particular school, and they are the most widely used tablets in education. Some advantages to students having their own device are:
- iPads offer access to online books, databases, textbooks, audio & video files to students can access instruction in a variety of formats
- A device offers students access to the internet via our wireless network.
- Mobile computer and working “in the cloud” are valuable skills and common in today’s educational and work environments.
- A personalized computing device ensures equitable and consistent access to technology for all students.
Along with teaching students about maintaining an appropriate and safe online presence, how to use the iPad effectively with the volume of information available and how to set up and maintain the iPad, the Technology team has utilized filtering software and made every effort to safeguard students from inappropriate and/or unsafe content. Teachers will seek out apps to download onto iPads that are relevant to learning materials, and students are welcome to suggest ideas as well, but iPads are viewed as strictly learning tools and won’t be personalized by students.
The iPad provides a unique venue for multimedia texts, and the school hopes over the coming year or two that hard cover texts and workbooks will be replaced by iPad texts and resources. Although iPads are not the solution to all educational issues, they are an additional tool to be used in a students educational process. Sometimes it is appropriate to work a problem out using pencil and paper and other times it’s important to use a mobile computing device.