The Board of Education has directed the Technology Steering Committee to look into getting more technology at K-8 grade levels. We developed a larger committee that is represented by teachers, staff, administrators, board members, and technology. This group is working to develop a unified vision, goals and how they will be measured, and strategies to enhance student learning.
In addition, the district is conducting seven different scenarios to determine the best implementation model. All models are using Showbie to enhance workflow and help the classrooms become paperless. Additionally, we are trying a new Mobile Device Management service called JAMF which may provide greater flexibility for all users.
When we first implemented a 1:1 program at the high school, a team of people researched a number of devices to determine that which best fit our needs. As you know, iPads were selected. Our systems and protocols have been developed for those devices. As we move forward for K-8, we are open to looking at other devices if it is determined that they would provide a better alternative. This semester, we are running pilots using the devices that are available. One of the goals of these pilots was to look at ways in which we could utilize old iPads and laptops that are traditionally taken out of service.
Principals were asked if they wanted their building to participate and if so, sent suggested teachers. From those, the following 7 classrooms were randomly selected.
The seven models are:
(All classrooms are utilizing Apple TV to allow for wireless projection of their iPad)
1st grade – Jennie Wilson: iPad 2
This is a traditional classroom model. This cart that stays in the room all day. The teacher requests apps on the iPads and they are pushed out.
4th grade – Florence Wilson: Mini laptops/VDI
This model is repurposing older ‘mini’ laptops running a Virtual Desktop (VDI). These laptops have no programs installed; rather, the students log in to the “Virtual Desktop’ and the programs come from the VDI server. These laptops stay in the classroom and are used by three different sets of students.
3rd/4th grade – Jennie Barker: iPad Air 2 32 gb
The students use a classroom cart of new iPads in a ‘shared’ iPad model. Each student uses the same iPad each day while in the pilot teacher’s room. The iPad has a log in screen that the student enters credentials which gives them access to their files. Additionally, the teacher is running Apple’s Classroom App. This app provides the teacher with control over student iPads. The teacher can lock the students’ iPads down, send websites, open apps, and see what is on the student’s screen.
6th grade – BSIC: iPad Air 2
One group of students is assigned an individual iPad that is used in all content areas. They take the iPad with them to each teachers’ class. Three teachers are involved in the model. This is a true 1:1 scenario using iPad Air 2s. These teachers are also using the Apple Classroom app.
4th grade – Georgia Matthews: iPad Air 2
This is a typical classroom cart model. This cart stays in the room all day. This pilot is also using the Apple Classroom app.
5th/6th grade SPED Math - CSIC: iPad 2
This is a typical cart model where all iPads are kept in the room. Student’s use the same iPad each day. All EngageNY modules are loaded into a Showbie account that student’s access and work on using digital ink; they then upload them back for the teacher to evaluate.
4th grade – Victor Ornelas: BYOD
This classroom’s students are allowed to bring any device from home and the district has put that device on the wireless network. Students who elected to not bring in a device were provided an iPad 2.
The committee will evaluate the effectiveness of these models during the next few months through various measures. The committee will report to the Board the findings.