It was last January when we distributed 35 used iPad1s to 35 eighth grade students in Mr Boggs’s class at Pajaro Middle School in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. Students were excited and enthusiastic to receive the iPads; teachers and parents were nervous. Nine months later we have some experiences to share.
- After four months of students taking the iPads home on a 24/7 basis, we had one iPad that developed an issue with the connector and one that had a broken screen. All other iPads were returned in excellent condition and used again this fall for a new set of students.
- Each iPad was equipped with a copy of the HMH FUSE Algebra textbook which provided access to an abundance of online resources, videos and supplemental information. The textbook came alive for the students and was used frequently throughout the year. Each iPad also had a variety of other apps that were downloaded by the teacher prior to distribution or that the students downloaded with guidance from the teacher.
- The teacher accepted the large challenge of integrating this new technology and textbook into his curriculum. He began to flip his classroom, and the students adapted quickly. He investigated and implemented new apps to use with his students. He found that he had more time to work individually with students during class and that the students were enjoying the class time more than before.
- This fall, Mr. Boggs’s algebra class was a commonly requested class by students. The forward-thinking principal, Jean Gottlob, reported that Mr Boggs’s Algebra class was one of the most frequently requested classes of the year. (Did you catch that? Algebra was one of the most commonly requested classes!
If engagement is a key factor to student learning, Mr. Boggs had the key to learning whenever he was using the iPads in his instruction. The students were enthusiastically participating in a variety of ways. It is with tools like these that creative and daring educators like Mr. Boggs and forward thinking leaders like Principal Gottlob can double the learning, triple the enjoyment, and maintain an outstanding instructional institution.