By USD 435
Just one year ago the USD 435 schools embarked on a new educational endeavor to help our students meet the challenges of the 21st century by providing staff and students with the most current technology and information. The introduction of iPads in our schools provided both major challenges and rewards. Staff and students met the challenges head on and set the standard for technology implementation across the state of Kansas.
• Students were very responsible with the care and use of the iPads. Throughout the school year students showed their maturity and responsibility while using them. Less than 2 percent of the devices used had any significant damage or misuse.
• District staff attended trainings, worked as teams, and put in hours of extra work to develop lessons that not only incorporated the technology, but enhanced the learning experiences for students.
• Abilene became the “how to” school district for implementing iPads as a tool for learning. During the school year, our staff presented at six state-wide conferences, hosted thirteen visiting teams from districts around the state, and fielded hundreds of emails about what we were doing for our students.
At a glance
The plan that was put in place last year will remain with minor refinements.
Students will have access to personalized technology throughout the school day based on their individual learning needs.
At Kennedy Primary school, two students share the access to one iPad. Students do not take the iPad home.
At McKinley, Garfield, Abilene Middle School, and Abilene High School, each student has access to their own school issued iPad. The iPads may go home from 4th through 12th grade with the conditions below.
There is a student/parent agreement that clearly states the appropriate use of the equipment and details on what should occur if the equipment is damaged or stolen. The agreements may be viewed on the district website at http://www.abileneschools.org
There are no fees to use the iPad at school. There is a $40 annual fee if the device needs to go home with the student. This fee is for a protection plan for the parents when the iPad goes home. If the iPad is damaged due to an accident or negligence, then a $50 deductible will be assessed before a student can again take the iPad home. The administration may restrict this agreement as needed on a case by case basis.
The school district will continue to strive to transform teaching and learning to meet the needs of the 21st century while maintaining a balance and connection with traditional instruction. This will be done by:
• focusing on continued staff understanding of best practices of instruction and determining when to use the technology and when to use paper and pencil.
• further movement from just learning the technology to learning with the technology by allowing students to develop their creative abilities through project-based learning activities, developing more opportunities for anytime, anywhere learning. (An example of this at Abilene High School is the offering of the Government class as a “blended” class. This class will have some face-to-face learning and some distance learning through the technology and the class will not meet.)
•building collaborative relationships with other school districts by staff working collaboratively with some other schools to plan and develop transforming lessons to increase higher level thinking skills and creativity. Students will also work collaboratively with students from other schools on projects and to peer edit work.
•increasing the parent and community connection with the technology. Students will visit several places in the community including Frontier Estates and Village Manor. Adult iPad classes will continue to be offered through the Abilene Parks and Recreation. The plan is to continue to reach out to all facets of our community through these devices.
Although it is impossible to predict the future, USD 435 is striving to provide our students with the best advantage possible to be able to adapt, enrich, and lead our world as well-equipped adults. To accomplish this, we are breaking the barriers to learning by not restricting learning to our brick and mortar structures, to our hours of operation, or to our fixed amount of knowledge. We hope to inspire all students to utilize the technology to truly be anywhere, anytime, anything, life-long learners.