In order to provide a rigorous education and qualify our students for personal and professional success, AHS students and faculty use technology in each course. Course material is located online and therefore students have access to online resources quickly at school and at home. Software programs give students the ability to communicate electronically with teachers and other students in an organized workflow. The technology selected by the school for this is the iPad.
Ambassador High School is a Google Apps for Education school. Our teachers post course material on a learning management system and our student’s work primarily through Google Drive and Docs to turn in assignments. Each student receives an AHS email, which will be the primary communication method for teachers and students.
Why the iPad?
Through extensive research , the school found that the iPad is the best and most comprehensive device for 1:1 education. The iPad is the clear choice for a number of reasons, which include the following:
IPads will complement existing classroom instruction by allowing students to do the following:
- The iPad has a 9-hour battery life, so teachers and students can rely on its use at any point in the school day.
- The iPad is an always-on learning tool, ready for immediate use at the press of a button.
- Teachers can provide a unified set of instructions for iPad use.
- Students can collaborate in real-time.
- Teachers and students can provide basic trouble shooting for one another due to their familiarity with a single device, meaning that any technical issues can be resolved easily so that all students can participate.
- Apple has embraced the education market , providing creative solutions to meet the needs of teachers and students. Apple is the market leader for educational apps and textbooks.
- The Apple App Store has a stringent vetting process for apps, which ensures their safety, security, and reliability .
- The successful adoption of 1:1 iPad programs by schools around the country confirms the device’s durability and usability, at the same time creating an educational community with which to collaborate.
- The iPad works with both Macs and PCs, ensuring seamless integration.
Benefits of 1:1 iPad
- Collaborate on Internet research in class, allowing students to dig deeper into topics
- Provide real-time feedback to teachers by doing assignments on Google Drive, instant polls and quizzes that track how well students are learning the material
- Utilize thousands of educational apps that raise student engagement and comprehension
- Create presentations that can be pushed from the iPad to the entire classroom
- Learn how to digitally annotate and practice active reading
- Benefit from the digital organization tools on the iPad, such as access to school and personal calendars.
- Learn to make high quality films with iMovie as they synthesize content and create their own learning objects and classroom projects
- Access any open source text on the Internet
- Benefit from their iPad reading material aloud, increasing reading comprehension for some students
- Record audio or video of lectures for reference at home
- Take pictures and edit them
- Keep their calendar of assignment and important dates
- Access daily announcements and news feeds directly on the iPad throughout the day
- Access resources like Google Earth and Google Art in relevant classes
Increased Student Engagement
- Research supports that, when done properly, access to technology benefits student learning. One research study that spanned 1:1 programs in six different states showed that teachers and students agreed 1:1 programs increased student engagement. Students reported that it was easier to do school work and that a computing device helped increase their interest in learning.
- According to the U.S. Department of Education and recent studies by the National Training and Simulation Association, technology-based instruction can reduce the time students take to reach a learning objective by 30 to 80 percent.
Equipping Students for Success in Careers
- In the professional world, businesses increasingly rely upon online education for training and professional development. Studies report that 94 percent of applicants have a technological infrastructure to support the delivery and management of training.
- Once on the job, new hires become part of an environment where self-directed learning is the new norm. Training Magazine reports that, “Nearly half of our respondents had downloaded a mobile app to improve their job performance—even though their employer did not require it.” AHS graduates will have the self-confidence and skills needed to excel in today’s digital workforce, able to more positively impact their communities and the world.
Equipping Students for Success in College and Universities.
- A form of technological use and know-how is the norm in most colleges and universities. College students need to apply digital skills and exhibit self-discipline when encountering continual access to digital resources in college. Many colleges today give students a device to use and almost every college expects students to bring a device to class. In college applications, some colleges have even been known to pose questions related to self-control with the use of technology.
- Graduates of AHS will be prepared to thrive in digital environments at their colleges and universities because their experience will include training in submitting homework online, posting meaningful contributions on discussion boards, appropriately using devices in class, and possessing the self-discipline and digital skills needed to succeed in hybrid and online classes.
AHS iPad program description was adapted from the iPad program at Valley Christian Schools, San Jose, California, http://www.vcs.net/page.cfm?p=532
“Mobile Apps and Training.” Training Magazine. 2011. http://www.trainingmag.com/article/mobile-apps-and-training
“Digital Literacies and Learning: Designing a Path Forward. “Friday Institute White Paper Series. March 2011. www.fi.ncsu.edu/whitepapers.
“Digital Textbook Playbook.” The Digital Textbook Collaborative. February 1, 2012. Transition.fcc.gov/files/Digital_Textbook_Playbook.pdf
“Apple in Education.” Apple Inc.