a Junior at Arlington CatholicMeet the Community
Since 2013, the school leadership and teaching community at ACHS have made a commitment to develop and implement a Digital Device Initiative plan. The purpose of the plan is to integrate digital experiences into the curriculum with the goal of enhancing student learning through the use of technology as an educational tool.
In the fall of 2014, all students had the option to bring their own iPad into the classroom to be used to do research, organize their coursework, and collaborate with students and teachers and complete assignments. Additionally, parents had the option to purchase their students’ texts in one of four formats: hard copy (new or used), iBook (through the iTunes Store), eBook or Access Code. Students will be able to request access to the internet by registering on our network. By piloting the option to use an iPad in the classroom during the 2014-15 school year, we believe that we were able to: better assess how our infrastructure handles the incremental increase of digital devices on our network; evaluate the educational uses of the iPad by the students; and very importantly, allow parents to plan for the full implementation of a 1:1 iPad Program a year in advance. The full implementation is scheduled for the 2015-16 school year. Full implementation includes every student has an iPad for school use.
After researching the pros and cons to a number of digital devices, we made the decision that the iPad has far more pros than cons compared to other brands or models. Some of the reasons for choosing the iPad include its: portability, long battery life, educational resources accessible to teachers and students, intuitive ease of use, and the availability of the more affordable iBooks for a growing list of high school texts.
“The awareness, attitude, and ability of individuals to appropriately use digital tools and facilities to identify, access, manage, integrate, evaluate, analyze and synthesize digital resources, construct new knowledge, create media expressions, and communicate with others, in the context of specific life situations, in order to enable constructive social action; and to reflect upon this process.” (Martin, 2006)
Our freshmen participate in this workshop within the first eight weeks of school. The curriculum involves having students learn to be able to think critically about the ethical opportunities and challenges of the digital world and makes safe, responsible, respective choices.