SCCS’s new technology initiative has been in use for a month now and it is already making an impact in the classroom. “Students are using the iPads to reinforce phonics rules we have been learning,” shared second grade teacher Mrs. Preheim. “It is a great tool to challenge themselves and it helps me see if the students are remembering the concepts we have learned so far this year.”

Teachers are able to select from a catalog of apps and use them to complement what is being taught in the classroom. As students work individually and together, teachers are able to see exactly what each student is working on from the instructor iPad. This helps keep students safe and gives teachers a clear idea about where each child is with their mastery of a subject. Mrs. Preheim also enjoyed the fact that she could tailor the phonics app to exactly what content they were learning in class.

During the week, elementary classes check out iPads from the Apple cart located in the library and use them for a teacher led lesson. As digital books and information becomes the future it is important for our students to learn how to responsibly use the technology available to them. The iPads can make learning fun, but also require the student to handle it in a mature way. Using technology in the classroom gives teachers and other faculty members the opportunity to develop their student’s digital citizenship skills. It’s one thing to use mobile devices, it’s a completely other thing to know how to use them correctly and responsibly. As the technology initiative expands, teachers will have even more capabilities to engage their students using more apps and teacher tools.

Secondary students use the school’s iPads most heavily. They are able to have textbooks with them wherever they go in addition to assignment tools and notes. Secondary Science Instructor Mrs. Brenner, talked about her use with iPads and the creative ways she has been able to immerse her students in lessons like never before. “We are able to deliver content directly to each student, rather than have students focusing on a central screen or whiteboard.  Using apps like Nearpod and Classkick, each student receives the interactive lesson and becomes an important part of the lesson, rather than merely passively taking in content.” With access to more reference materials her class can move quickly through a lesson. “Students are able to have multiple resources at their fingertips at the same time.  In a single lesson, we have students accessing their digital textbook, the Bible, the Periodic Table app, and an interactive worksheet, all at the same time” said Mrs. Brenner.

The iPads are also allowing teachers to see at which speed students are learning the material and if there is review needed. “We are able to monitor student work from our own screens, quickly identify students who need help, and get them whatever help they need, whether it be taking over that student’s screen and showing them how to do a problem, moving them to a helpful resource, or walking over to them and working with them at their desk.” Students can also participate in quizzes and review challenges, making it a fun and interactive experience. This initiative is allowing students new ways to be successful and active learners. It enables them to participate and learn concepts in a variety of different ways.  We thank parents for partnering with us in this new technology initiative as we grow our academic program.