G-AHS prepares for 1-to-1 iPads
Dec. 10, 16
Staff and students are preparing to make the Equal Technology Opportunities (ETO) initiative a reality at Greencastle-Antrim High School.
Recognizing that students are surrounded by and functioning in a digital world where so much of human knowledge is now digitized, the Greencastle-Antrim School District will issue a personal iPad to all students in grades nine through 12 at the beginning of the second semester of this school year, according to a news release from the high school.
“We expect the infusion of technology will enhance the wonderful things that are already taking place in our classrooms, and our commitment remains to successfully prepare our students for their next steps following graduation," Dr. Edward Rife, high school principal said.
ETO information nights, where parents can learn more about what drives the initiative, hear information about the rollout and expectations of the devices, and ask questions will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, and Monday, Dec. 16. G-AHS families are encouraged to attend one of the ETO information nights and the same information will be shared at both meetings.
The move to 1-to-1 computers at G-AHS is part of the ETO recommendation from the district's Technology Committee 2.0. At the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, all middle-schoolers will receive iPads.
Five iPads were in each Greencastle-Antrim elementary classroom, kindergarten through fifth grade, at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year and iMac labs bolster STEAM (science, engineering, technology, the arts and mathematics) at the high school and middle school.
According to information presented to the school board in June by Dwight Bard, the district's director of technology, ETO strives to enhance the teaching and learning environment by:
• Equalizing learning opportunities for all
• Providing immediate access to information and digital resources
• Allowing for innovative instructional strategies that provide an environment for creativity and engagement
• Increasing student engagement through individualization
• Providing ongoing professional development opportunities
Learning by doing
Assisting in the process of bringing ETO to the classroom are high school students enrolled in the STEAM course Occ-Tech: Occupations in Technology. Under the direction of their instructor, Tara Clopper, and Bard, the students are preparing devices for the roll-out, scheduled to take place on Jan. 15 and 16, 2020.
The Occ-Tech students are getting a first-hand experience in the field they plan to pursue following graduation, according to the news release. Working together, the 11 students have developed a system which includes data entry, assigning serial numbers and labeling the devices and components. Once the devices are organized, the students will begin the task of setting up the programs and applications, updating the iOS and testing each device.
Being part of the rollout process is gratifying for the technology-minded students.
Senior Daniel Danchise said, “We took this class because we are all interested in IT and working on this project is really preparing us for our future jobs.”
Several students in the class expressed their enthusiasm about being involved in the ETO rollout process and how teamwork is important to prepare the devices for distribution. Learning to work together as a team is a valuable skill necessary for many 21st century occupations.
Junior Davey Witmer shared, “Our class has really gotten close working together on this project, kind of like a family.”