Freshman and sophomores can expect iPads in 2012
Cathedral Catholic will be debuting its first-ever program to incorporate iPads into the school curriculum forthe 2012-2013 school year. While most of the details are still being figured out by administration, it has been confirmed that every single class is planned to use the iPads in some way or another.
Next year is planned to be a trial year, where only a few select classes will be able to try out the iPads. The administration is still unsure exactly how – whether through higher yearly tuition or otherwise – students will have to pay for this new technological addition to the school, though it will be considerably less than the commercial price, according to Mr. Sean Doyle, Cathedral’s Director of Technology. The iPads will be leased out to students and used much like the mobile lab of Mac laptops is currently used, but much more often. The specific use of the iPads, of course, will depend on the class.
Textbooks are planned to be given up completely, as “ebooks”, online resources, and an unbelievable amount of websites that allow teachers to create their own textbooks for free well be uesd. The iPads given to students will already have pre-approved applications for students to use, so students will not have to purchase more applications later on.
Students will also be able to use online storage websites, such as Microsoft’s Live@Edu(http://www.microsoft.com/liveatedu/free-email-accounts.aspx) and Apple’s MobileMe (http://www.me.com ) to save documents and other important files to use in other classes or at home, according to Mr. Doyle.
As previously mentioned, nothing in completely set in stone, but students are assured that they need not worry over technical problems. The iPads will be covered by Apple Care insurance for three years, and all issues that may be expected should be covered.
This significant change to the curriculum was motivated by the academic performance improvements of students at both Marymount School in New York (see previous El Cid article by Alexis Jammo) and a few classes here at Cathedral Catholic that have tested the new technology in the classroom.
Mrs. Doina Harrison, CCHS Spanish teacher, has seen significant improvements in her Spanish 4 students’ work when they were allowed to use any technology they wanted in class – from iPhones and iPads to regular laptops - to do research for a project.
“Having this technology in the classroom is a great way to engage the students better, especially through project-based work,” said Mrs. Harrison. “The work of the students improved 25% to 30%. It was much more well thought out and in-depth. It keeps the students responsible for their own learning, and really individualizes the experience.”
Although this may seem like a sudden decision, the idea to have iPads in the classroom has been around since the “Big 6” and mapping was introduced, to Cathedral a few years ago. As technology surges forward in advancement, the school wants to keep up in order to stay up-to-date for the benefit of the student body.
As Mrs. Harrison said, “It’s time to join the 21st century. We’re never going to be ready for this, since technology is changing constantly, so we should just go with it now. With all this technology at our fingertips, why not use it?”