Saturday, November 3, 2012

In the Works

There is a confession I have to make.  I have not touched my sewing machine for weeks, and withdrawls are setting in!  School has pretty much taken over my life, specifically technology.  I happen to love technology and I can somewhat get along, but the past few weeks have put me and the staff at our school to the test.

A few months ago our school was awarded an amazing grant.  There was money put aside, through the state of Utah, for a pilot program to see what would would happen if a school was immersed with technology.  There was one high school, one middle school and one elementary school chosen in the state.  My school was picked as the elementary school.  We feel very fortunate because there is no way we would ever have this opportunity on our own.

Anyway, onto the basics.  Here is the run down. Each teacher received a new MacBook Pro, a 55" screen with Apple TV and an iPad to use in the classroom.  I have to say I LOVE my laptop!  It is so nice to be able to take my computer home with me and have all my school stuff on one computer.  No more emailing notes to myself to work on at home, it just comes with me.  We also received days and days of training on how to make effective use of it in the classroom.  Our school was also rewired with more wifi stations and enough capability to run many devices at the same time.

The best news of all is the students in the school will also receive an iPad to use during school!  Yea, I have 27 students so I can have 27 iPads running at the same time!  It is an overwhelming thought to me right now, but the kids are over the moon about it!

There were a lot of questions about how this is going to work.  The company we are going through is iSchool in Park City, UT.  They have done a fantastic job implementing this change.  I can tell they really want us to succeed.  They have shown us how it is possible to adapt to every child's needs.  I have a broad range of students, ones who need help learning their letters to some that are reading on a first/second grade level.  With iPads I can adapt to each child and give them the help they need.  It is an amazing thought, and I can't wait to see the results!

Along with this there have been some learning curves, hopefully they are mostly behind us and we can move on.  This is going to be a great adventure!

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