Auburn Schools Form 1:1 Technology Implementation Committee

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The Auburn School District has formed a 1:1 Technology Implementation Committee to explore the benefits of providing devices to every student.
The Auburn School District has formed a 1:1 Technology Implementation Committee to explore the benefits of providing devices to every student. Photo Credit: Daniel Castro

AUBURN, Mass. — With plans under way to launch an iPad pilot program at Auburn Middle School, the school district has formed a 1:1 Digital Learning Implementation Team to explore initiatives to roll out districtwide.

The Auburn School Committee voted in full support of creating the team, which would include Director of Technology Eric Bouvier, the director of teaching, learning and curriculum and the director of pupil services as well as principals, teachers, parents and students.

Currently, the Fiscal Year 2014 draft budget supports the purchase of 60 iPads for a 1:1 program at the middle school. Educators are working to strengthen the plan as they go forward, Superintendent Maryellen Brunelle says.

The team would look into the benefits of moving in the direction of 1:1 technology implementation, which Brunelle said would consider educational impact first and foremost as well as costs.

"This is truly a teaching and learning initiative," said Bouvier. "What we are looking to do has the ability to transform classroom learning. While it is enabled by technology, the technology is just a piece of what we're talking about."

Although access to technology is more important than ever and students are craving it, the schools do not have enough labs, he said. 

With 1:1 computing, every student would have access to a digital device, said Bouvier.

This could be accomplished through a "Bring Your Own Tech" model, in which students bring whatever device they have to use in class, or through a district-provided device.

"This creates not only equity, so everyone has the same device, but also allows teachers to ensure what the device can do and so everyone has the same capability," said Bouvier. 

Whether it's through use of iPads, netbooks, laptops or Chrome Books, "It's important to remember devices don't drive this program, teaching and learning drive this program," Bouvier said.

He outlined benefits of such an implementation, including:

  • Provides on-demand access to interactive and digital resources on the web.
  • Increases opportunities for students with special needs, as iPads offer a variety of accessibility features.
  • Increases project-based learning.
  • Allows teachers to cater to learning styles of multiple students.
  • Allows for digital delivery and submission of work.
  • Promotes better 21st-century skills.

"It's so important that our students move forward in this area, because when they go to college they have to be ready," school committee member Elizabeth Gribbons said.

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It has the potential to be a great program. Shrewsbury has done this already with much success. Their program is very inclusive and has iPad plans for all financial levels.

http://www.wickedlocal.com/shrewsbury/news/x1665843962/Shrewsbury-educators-applaud-iPad-program#axzz2JaJfUJ2H

It does have potential - I wouldn't dare argue that. Thanks for sharing the link. It's good to know we are following in the footsteps of other successful programs.

It occurred to me that the downside to non-Apple products is Windows8. So, perhaps iPads really are the smart choice.

It's wonderful that we have a technology program in town, but why does it have to be iPads? I'm sure we are getting a bulk discount, but for the price of one iPad we could, theoretically, be getting two Android tablets. Then we'd have 120 one-to-one opportunities rather than 60.

I hope the answer isn't "software" because, if we are expecting our children to do homework electronically, not everyone in town has an iPad at home, and not everyone has the ability or desire to rush out and buy an iPad for their kids. I would hope that the software selected has both Apple and Android versions available.

I worry about the fiscal responsibility of this town.