The Board of Education approved our Instructional Technology Strategic Plan in March 2013. We intend to provide all students taking Freshmen level class with iPads at the start of each school year.
Q. This is a major commitment of time and resources. What is the “upside” for student learning?
A. The short answer is that we are convinced that students will learn faster with having daily access to mobile devices as learning tools. Ultimately, we are convinced that students will be able to complete tasks and create products they were unable to accomplish without the tool. Research indicates use of a mobile device will progress through mundane, low-level impacts upwards toward more profound impacts on student learning:
Q. What data supports the conviction that this will have a positive impact on student learning?
A. We have some quantitative data, but it is the result of very small sample sizes. We have conducted 8 iPad pilots in our four high schools over the last 2 years. Data collected in the Glenbard East Freshman Academy 2012-2013 pilot showed an increase in both lab grades and project grades and increase in student attendance. The data collected in the Glenbard West 2012-2013 iPad pilot showed an average 3% increase on unit test scores in AP U.S. Government & Politics and an average6% increase on vocabulary exams in English language learner U.S. Government & Politics when compared to units conducted without the iPad. The list of items that came up several times in our qualitative feedback from teachers includes increased student engagement, increased student collaboration, increased avenues for more frequent formative assessment, and a broader array of resources for students to create products to demonstrate mastery.
Q. How will instruction need to change?
A. Teachers will change their instruction in order to use the mobile device to facilitate and inspire student collaboration and creativity, design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments, and promote digital citizenship and responsibility. One powerful short-term impact will be to empower students to take control of pursuing the knowledge and skill outcomes for the course instead of the teacher always being the hardest working learner in the room. In some cases, this shift will require teachers to develop new lesson designs and classroom management procedures.
Q. What professional development have teachers gone through to prepare for this major change in their instruction?
A. Teachers have received devices and participated in three levels of training:
○ Improving assessment practices
○ Increasing student-student collaboration with a Learning Management System and Google Drive
○ Taking notes and annotated documents
○ Improving access to instruction through screencasting
○ Creating more relevant and timely curricula by utilizing open source digital resources
Teachers participated in online learning and submitted assignments to show their mastery of the professional development topics.
● Content-specific mentors. We organized teachers from local school districts and our pilot teachers with experience with iPads in their classes to educate our teachers on how to effectively leverage the iPad in their content areas.
● Teachers learned from Myron Dueck, a nationally renowned expert on best practices for student feedback and assessment using the iPad as a tool.
We will continue to provide training and resources to teachers relating to how to transform teaching practices to match the needs of a 21st century classroom.
Q. Are teachers supportive of this implementation timeline?
A. Yes. We received an excellent response rate to the Instructional Technology Strategic Plan Survey.Of the 512 respondents, 80% were classroom teachers. We received responses from a diverse group of teachers from all departments. The results showed that 90 percent of respondents expressed a readiness to change their instruction to leverage a 1:1 device by the start of the 2014-2015 school year. We also conducted “listening sessions” with staff at all four schools, at which the majority of staff were supportive of this implementation timeline. In September 2013, we conducted focus groups with 9th grade teachers from all four schools. These groups also were in support of our timeline. The biggest need expressed by teachers for readiness in all of our feedback has been for continued professional development to continue to build upon the work they completed last summer and fall 2013.
Q. How will you train students on the apps?
A. We plan to provide device and app training to students prior to the start of the school year so that students have a basic proficiency with the device by the first day of instruction. We are planning on including the training as part of the normal freshman orientation days that freshmen attend prior to the school year. Based on the number of students and scheduling conflicts, we may expand to multiple training's offered during the summer.
Q. Will you have a digital curriculum in place for freshmen?
A. Yes. Access to digital versions of our current textbooks, novels, and required apps will be provided to all students enrolled in 9th grade core courses, and paid for in an annual flat digital curriculum fee($85) that will replace the textbook rental fee ($125). Ninth grade teachers will use an online Learning
Q. Will 9th grade students still be issued paper textbooks?
A. We do not plan to deploy textbooks and novels in courses in which all students have a device.There are some pieces of curriculum materials that will not be available digitally during our transition years, though. Workbooks and novels unavailable in digital format are two examples of pieces of curriculum that may or may not be available digitally during our transition year.
Q. Will there still be a common curriculum or will teachers choose their own curriculum resources?A. We will still have a common curriculum. Freshmen will be issued digital versions of the textbooks that have been adopted through the curriculum adoption process in board policy. While we will encourage teachers to explore open-source curriculum and teacher-created textbooks going forward,teacher teams still will be required to agree on common curricular materials to propose for approval,and all four schools will use the same digital “textbook” for the same course. The common learning outcomes for students in district-wide courses are available at:http://www.glenbard87.org/sitepages/curriculum/common .
Q. Does the use of iPads raise issues of academic dishonesty?
A. Like all tools, iPads can be used to make bad decisions. We will continue to emphasize the code of academic honesty our teachers require of students, while simultaneously teaching the importance of digital citizenship and responsibility that is a key skill in the 21st century.
Q. Do students prefer books?
A. Some students may, and the change in the tool will be an adjustment. Our experience from the iPad pilots at all four schools has been that students adapt very quickly to the digital text and quickly come to appreciate the tools for interacting with the text that were not possible before.
Q. Can students take notes and annotate in a digital version of texts?
A. Yes, and the app developers are building tools into the digital versions that are much more powerful and efficient than the high lighter and Post-it note strategies we use with paper.
Q. Is there a concern that students will become engrossed in texting through their devices and fail to develop important interpersonal skills?
A. Studies have provided divergent data on this concern. Our qualitative judgment from visits to four exemplar school districts and our eight iPad pilots has been that this is not a major concern. More
often, the opposite impact is observed: students in classes with mobile devices tend to be up and around the room and interacting with their peers more.
Q. What is the funding model for this? Who is paying for the device and the apps?
A. Although there is a cost increase for families to buy or lease an iPad, we see this cost in the context of the added value the tool provides far beyond required coursework. This cost should not be seen as the replacement and increase of the textbook rental and consumable fees families previously paid, as the device provides value in many applications beyond the textbook for a student’s class.Under our rental program we would propose that returning students would be able to take the device home over the summer in support of year-round learning and/or for use in our summer school programs. Fee structure:
Student rents the iPad from Glenbard District 87. He/she can use the device year-round. Families will need to pay:
❏ $85 annual digital curriculum fee, which covers required apps, textbooks, & novels.
❏ $189 annual rental fee
❏ Includes case
❏ Includes insurance on the device
❏ Returning students will get to use the device all year. They will take the device home over the summer in support of year-round learning and/or for use in our summer school programs.
Q. What happens after four years? Do I receive the device?
A. For participants in our rental program, the current plan is to allow students that have made 4 rental payment and have a "$0" balance on their account to keep their devices when they graduate.
Q. What about mixed classes that include both freshmen and sophomores? Will some sophomores be in the program?
A. To keep the deployment to a scalable and manageable size, we will need to limit the number of non-freshmen to whom we deploy the devices. The current plan is to deploy to all students who are enrolled in a 9th grade core course (English, math, science and social studies). This will involve deploying to some non-freshmen.
Q. Students have many logins to access school information. Will digital platforms be consolidated?(FirstClass, PowerSchool, Schoology, etc.)
A. While we are always looking for products that work together to minimize this problem, this problem is not because of the mobile device. We will continue to look for opportunities to consolidate logins and passwords for students.
Q. What about families that do not have Internet access at home?
A. We plan to promote low cost service providers. There are some new vendor offerings that have plans that provide 1.5mb of Internet access in the home for less than $10 per month. Any student who is income eligible on the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program or our student fee waiver is eligible for this type of program with Comcast/Verizon/AT&T.
Q. How will you handle lost/stolen devices? Will there be a loaner available to students as their device is being repaired/replaced?
A. Part of the rental fee for the device will include insurance. There will be an escalating deductible for each incident. If a student reports a device as lost or stolen, the family also will need to file a police report. Temporary loaner devices will be available for checkout within school for students to use for short-term periods; however, these loaner devices would not contain all of the student’s apps/data.
Q. Some elementary school districts are deploying different devices. Will those students be able to use the device from their elementary district?
A. Many school districts are transitioning to mobile learning environments. Each school district decides on a device based on their schools’ needs and pedagogical approaches to teaching. Some of our sender elementary districts have chosen different mobile devices because of their needs and selection criteria. Our selection criteria and approach to teaching led us to decide on the iPad for the initial years of our plan. To maximize the effectiveness of the device in all classrooms, we believe every student must have the same device. Unfortunately, devices deployed to students from sender districts will not be able to be used in lieu of the iPad.
Q. Will cases be provided for the iPads?
A. Yes. The cases provided are extremely durable and the students are required to keep the iPads in the case at all times.
Q. Will parental controls be available on the device?
A. No. School districts have attempted to control access on mobile devices only to find that students quickly learn how to bypass the security. Rather than restrict, we plan to incorporate an element in our curriculum that addresses digital citizenship, responsible use of the device, appropriate times to use/not use the device and awareness of social media.
Q. What about sophomores through seniors? How will deploying to one grade level impact the learning environment?
A. We decided to pursue a deployment of iPads to just freshmen for 2014 so that we can learn from a small-scale deployment before all students receive devices. This will help us to troubleshoot any technical problems that arise and to effectively scale our professional development for teachers.
Q. Why was the iPad chosen as the mobile device?
A. During the device selection process, we looked at iPads, Chromebooks and Android devices. We visited local schools that are implementing mobile devices into their curricula. We decided the iPad is the best device for us for the initial years of our plan for 3 reasons: