The 1:1 program supports the overall mission of JMSG’s technology program which has not deviated since the school’s inception. The goals of the 1:1 program are to:
- Teach 21st tech skills that are transferable across tools and devices
- Provide equal access to technology whether at school or at home
- Integrate digital components seamlessly into lessons and enrichment activities (like robotics)
- Facilitate the teaching and learning of individualized content
- Provide access to digital content without wireless access; for example, students will be able to access their documents, textbooks and worksheets stored on devices when they are at large in the virtual community
- Teach basic digital literacy skills
By providing each incoming student with a new iPad, which she will carry to and from school and to classes, each girl’s learning experience is extended both virtually and physically. Our 1:1 program provides the opportunity for every girl to have equal access to digital resources, especially to girls who might not otherwise have access. Additionally, parents have easy access to their daughters’ projects and work and can then easily partner with the school in order to support each girl’s academic success.
IPads at JMSG are considered another technology tool similar to a protractor, a laser cutter or a microscope and, although they offer a wide range of functionality, their usage is not considered an educational outcome per se. This following chart on the left, from Bill Ferriter’s Blog on Teaching Equality
, is a visual display that accurately reflects how the school regards iPad, and technology use.
While other technology devices were considered for the 1:1 program, iPads were chosen for their fast boot up time, durability (with a good case!), lower TCO (total cost of ownership) due to less software and hardware troubleshooting and maintenance. Having a digital tool easily at hand makes integrating technology into the classroom a seamless experience instead of extra work. Furthermore, applications on the devices engage and excite learners with their curriculum utilizing skills and apps that many of them already know.
In terms of training, the Educational Technology Director will work closely with the core teaching team at each level to ensure that apps are introduced and integrated into the curriculum in a meaningful fashion - not just for the sake of introducing technology. Apps are used when they create new opportunities for students to learn in different modalities (i.e with audio, video, etc) as well as for them to demonstrate their own understanding using a variety of media (written, spoken, using video). Furthermore, during the first trimester of school, every girl was enrolled in a two-hour class every 6 days devoted to teaching girls iPad-related and digital literacy skills they will need in their other classes. Faculty are sent to relevant technology and iPad professional development opportunities prior to and during the school year.
In Fall 2014, as the Class of 2017 and its teachers launched into the first year of this program, most lessons will be in the “substitution” mode of the Ruben R. Puentedura’s SAMR
(Substitution, Adaptation, Modification, Redefinition) model. During this phase, technology acts as a direct substitute for an existing tool, with no functional change. As both faculty and students improve their technology skills over 3 years at JMSG some, but not all, lessons will gradually move from the enhancement stage of this model to the transformation or “redefinition” stage where apps and technology tools are used to teach and learn in ways not previously available (or imaginable!).