iPads in student hands enhance education beginning next school year
The 2014-2015 school year marked the beginning of the Fenwick High School Digital Learning Initiative wherein Fenwick introduced the use of individual iPads to each member of last year’s freshman class. We will continue this program this fall. All freshman, sophomores and juniors will be required to purchase their own iPad for use over their high school career.
The use of these tablets will allow us to further integrate technology into the best teaching practices already used in our classrooms. Fenwick has provided students with state of the art technology access for many years. Every classroom functions as a multimedia room with an LCD projector, sound system and teacher computer. And the faculty routinely integrates the use of these technologies and multimedia resources into the curriculum.
What’s more, is that we presently have three mobile wireless laptop carts which are used in many different classes each day, a language lab, and a math lab. Students have access to computers and printers throughout the building. All students using the iPad as a learning device is the next logical step.
The benefits of digital learning
Digital learning enhances student critical thinking and problem solving capabilities, as well as supports self-directed learning. This program will teach our students how to engage responsibly in a digital environment and strengthen their 21st century skills such as understanding the ethical use of technology, accountability, social responsibility and personal productivity. It supports creativity and innovation, communication and information skills, as well as global awareness and civic literacy. Acquiring this knowledge and developing these skills will better position our students for their future college years and beyond.
Using iPads will allow us to replace some of the textbooks with iBooks and e-books, lightening the load students must carry with them every day. Additionally, it will reduce the cost spent on textbooks, which may offset the cost of the iPad over the course of four years of high school. Students will be able to access original documents, videos and other curriculum materials at anytime from anywhere inside the school and outside, too, which facilitates anywhere–anytime learning. These iPads provide a way for students and teachers to engage in an interactive, student-centered learning environment.