CCHS looks to Marymount School for iPad program example
February 28, 2011 • Alexis Jammo, Staff Writer
Filed under News
With CCHS looking into a “One-on-One” iPad program to implement next school year, we turn to Marymount School of New York, an all-girls day school for grades Pre-K through 12, for inspiration and example.
According to the Marymount school website, in the fall of 2010, the iPad Program began with hopes of creating a new and even more tech-savvy generation. The school has been noted as the largest in the world to integrate the iPad completely into their learning. Many more schools are taking interest in the program and hoping to learn about ways to improve their educational environment with the use of Apple’s gadget. Schools in Singapore, Monte Vista Christian School, and our own Cathedral Catholic High School are now weighing the pros and cons of the new learning methods.
Eric Walters explained in his article “Marymount Mobile Computing Initiative” that the Marymount School has recently added the technology into their learning environment for the sole reason of expanding the female capacity for science and math. Studies show now that women are excelling in the fields and the school felt it was necessary to take those statistics to a whole new level.
Not only do the students get to work on the iPad, but the faculty also participates. Since they handed over their textbooks for eBooks and Apps, the teachers needed to make some changes to their teaching methods. The summer before the students received their new gadgets, teachers made a whole new curriculum specifically designed for the use of iPads. As of the moment, the following classes have been proposed at Marymont: Lower School Music, AP Statistics and Middle School Science.
AP French has also been altered to incorporate the new tool into the classroom. Since French is such a big part of the school’s atmosphere, the girls are encouraged to use Apps to enhance their learning. So far, they have found “Twitterific,” “TweetCast,” and “TweetMike” to be the most helpful in continuing their study of the language.
There have been no setbacks yet, and the iPads seem to be used more and more each day. The girls love them and feel delighted to set an example for the rest of the schools of the world.
In a YouTube video “iPads @ Marymount,” the girls displayed their new technology and expressed their excitement. Common issues that have come up concern the iPad incorporation into the classes include the difficulty of typing, as well as the distraction the games may impose. One of the girls in the video provides her claim to prove one of these incorrect: “I was worried, when I first looked at the iPad, that it was going to be difficult to type on, but I found out that it was actually really easy.”
Another girl’s take on the iPad may be a positive for her, but will need to be taken into account as one of the cons to bringing the tablet to CCHS. She said, “I think the only downside is that I get no work done because they are so much fun.”
Can Cathedral Catholic students prove mature enough to resist the temptations of the games? How exactly will teachers monitor this in the classroom? These new questions are being deliberated between the administration as important aspects to whether or not the iPad Program will get the go-ahead next year.
There are many teachers who express concern, though some are all for the new phase of the classroom. In a recent article by Eric Walters, appearing in the “National Coalition of Girls’ School” blog, Larry Cuban, a faculty member of Marymount School in New York, said, “One reason technology integration has historically failed in schools is because technology is initiated with a top-down approach, in which administration forces certain technologies on teachers, and teachers force these same technologies onto students.” She supports the iPad and feels as though it is an improved version of everything that has been tried in the past.
Though the decision will me made solely by the faculty and administration of Cathedral, the students do need to propose their concerns. So many Apps exist, but which ones will be detrimental to our learning and which will enhance it like no other technology program could have in the past?