Starting in 2014, Third Grade students at Windermere Preparatory School begin to use iPads to support their learning as a part of the iPad Pilot Project. Starting in the 2015 school year, parents of students in the Third Grade will supply an iPad as standard school equipment through a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scheme.
The focus of the iPad program at Windermere Preparatory School is to provide tools and resources to the students. Increasing access to technology is essential for the future of education and learning, and one of the learning tools for students is the iPad. Technology can help to meet the needs of different intelligences, different learning styles and different learning paces. The individual use of iPads is a way to empower students to maximize their full potential and to prepare them for transitioning to further study or the workforce.
Conclusions drawn from available research is the 1:1 learning experience provides many positive outcomes for the students, staff, and community. The purpose of the iPad Initiative is to enhance the technology component of the curriculum so that students can experience a true 21st Century learning environment. This will better prepare students for an increasingly complex, demanding, and competitive global society by providing them with the skills needed to succeed as learners, workers, and citizens. Among some of the research outcomes mentioned most are:
Improved writing skills and depth of students’ research
Increased student interest in learning and ownership of the learning process
Developed students who can think critically, create, collaborate, and communicate in order to be successful in school and beyond
Engaged students through project-based learning and on-demand access to information
The iPad supports learning in the ways students think. By putting a world of easily searchable information at their fingertips, inquiry-based learning becomes more possible. The integration of this technology into the classroom has the capacity to empower our students, so they will be able to direct their own learning with the teacher acting as facilitator and guide, rather than sage of knowledge. Inquiry-based learning demands that students develop critical thinking skills in order to solve problems and find answers to questions. In addition, students have more ownership of their learning and the engagement in the learning process increases.