Lipscomb Academy Middle School continues to teach our students the skills necessary for them to become successful, lifelong critical thinkers and learners. In the past several years, we have worked diligently to create lessons that require our students to think, communicate, and collaborate with each other using technology. As we implemented our technology plan in 2012-2013, we introduced Mrs. Moriah Farmer as Integration Specialist, we unveiled our new Dual Platform Lab, and we continued to learn and develop ways to teach our students how to integrate technology and learning. Our middle school continues to be a leader in technology innovation.
One of the ways we progressed in the area of technology was giving teachers an iPad and challenging them to learn how to integrate this device into their classroom. Teachers attended professional development classes designed to enable them to enhance their technology skills not only with the iPad but with a PC as well. Teachers quickly became convinced of the many ways the iPad proved to enrich their classroom experience.
So far this year, iPads have been used for:
- Research of the sun using the NASA app
- Study of Geography
- Pictures used to create and share content
- Interactive apps used in mathematics
- Research in a variety of classes
- Presentations in Keynote
- Writing Practice Program (WPP)
Teachers and students continued to give us positive feedback as the technology committee, along with Mrs. Farmer and Mr. Sanders, studied the possibilities of the middle school going 1:1. We studied and researched ways that personal devices would change the landscape of our school. After careful analysis, we decided there are several different devices that would further enrich the middle school experience, but we saw more advantages with the iPad.
It is with great excitement I announce Lipscomb Academy Middle School will go 1:1 with iPads for 2013-2014! Middle school students will be required to purchase an iPad and bring it to school each day beginning in the fall of 2013. We believe this initiative will further enhance the middle school instructional experience.
Some background information: For the past year and a half, a technology committee, composed of faculty and staff from the three schools, has worked diligently with Dr. Hammond and the Leadership Council to create initiatives for technology use in school. We have implemented the following:
1. Integration Specialist
2. Dual Platform Lab
3. iPads for teachers
4. Technology Professional Development
5. Technology expectations by grade level
The smooth implementation of the five initiatives is, in part, what has led us to the 1:1 decision for the next school year. As we continue to work on all five of these areas, the addition of the iPad will allow teachers to create more opportunities for student learning. We are thrilled that our students will have this opportunity for 2013-2014.
Why iPads? First of all, there is no one perfect device! The iPad does offer exceptional enhancement of the instructional process and is very student friendly. The boundaries of traditional education are changed dramatically with an iPad. Combined with its lightweight and easy use, we believe this is the best device for us at this time.
Specifically, here is what is required:
At the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, all students will be required to have the following:
iPad Wi-Fi, 32 GB (minimum) – $599.00 or iPad Mini Wi-Fi, 32 GB(minimum) -- $429.00
Case – $40.00-$90.00
Insurance – $99.00
If you currently own an iPad 2 or buy a used iPad 2, then you may use it for one year only.
If your child’s iPad has a cellular plan (3G or 4G), we will require that to be turned off while at school.
We are in the process of setting up a link on our web page with more detailed information.
Do I have to purchase insurance? Yes! As parents you will own the iPad, but we are requiring proof of insurance. If you already own an iPad and it is not insured then you will be asked to sign a waiver at the beginning of school in August.
What if my iPad breaks at school? You can get insurance for around 100 dollars. We will have a limited number of iPads available for a student to use on a short term basis. We have information about the Apple Care Plan and the Care2 plan on our webpage.
Will the school have rules for the use of the iPad? Each grade level will spend time at the beginning of the year talking about acceptable use. This education will cover how to use and store the iPad, how to carry the iPad safely, and appropriate usage. Students will be required to have certain apps and most will be free. We encourage you to purchase the iPad before the start of school so your child will have time to become accustomed to the features.
How will the iPad affect the textbook rental program? Our goal in middle school is to work towards using textbooks in a digital format. Unfortunately, many textbooks are not yet available in a digital format. The middle school is currently working to see what changes can be made for next year to begin the move from traditional textbooks to digital textbooks. You can anticipate this move to take a few years as we take gradual but intentional steps to move in this direction. More information will be coming at a later date.
My child will be in eighth grade next year so I wonder if he will be able to use his iPad in high school the following year. Yes! There will be many opportunities for students to use the i-Pad in high school as it is part of the overall technology plan for high school. The elementary has future plans that include iPads.
Will we continue to pay a technology fee? Yes. Our technology fee covers infrastructure needs that continue to be constantly upgraded.
Will we need to pay for certain apps? There will most likely be a few purchased apps that each grade level will require, but for the most part, we will be using free apps. The teachers are currently doing research to see which apps they want to require for their specific grade levels. More information will be coming.
My child has a different device, can they bring that instead of an iPad? No. From a classroom management standpoint, we believe that all students on the same device will provide uniformity which is necessary in middle school.
What are some educational benefits for children using iPads? There are many benefits to using iPads in the classroom. As previously mentioned, we have found the educational apps, videos, and lessons to be just a few ways that take our existing curriculum and enhance and bring concepts to life! There is innovative instructional software, students can create and share content, and students will be able to work with their iPad in every class. We recently had a student “present” in class via the iPad when she was really at home due to illness. Although she was sick, did not miss a class, and the teacher even called on her to answer a question! The opportunities are endless!
Can I wait until tax free weekend to purchase an iPad? Yes! Tax free weekend is August 3rd, right before school starts!
It is impossible to answer every question and cover every detail of this new initiative in one email. I can tell you the middle school faculty is excited about going 1:1 with iPads next year. We know there will be some hurdles, but since we work on a daily basis with middle schoolers,we are not easily deterred! We are blessed to have technology experts Phil Sanders, Moriah Farmer, and Phil Fite that work with us daily.
We will continue to keep you updated as we make decisions regarding this initiative. We will have our own webpage designated for this initiative that will constantly be updated with new information. If you have questions, feel free to email.
Lisa Bruce, Principal
Ritchie Pickens, Assistant Principal