Technology is changing teaching and learning at Burlington High School. Prior to the district 1:1 technology initiative and Nellie Mae Foundation Grant, over 1,000 students had little access to technology at school. Teachers sometimes had to wait a month for access to a netbook cart or the library computer lab. Long lines formed at copy machines. Students left work at home and school. Some students had no technology access outside of school at all. And communication between teachers and students often had to wait two to three days.
Today all freshmen and sophomores have access to 1:1 technology through iPads. And it’s changing the way students and teachers learn and communicate. It’s creating more rigor, creativity, equity and accountability for teachers and students using iPads responsibly in the classroom.
More students have access to apps, features, websites and technology tools that can personalize and support their learning needs. More students have access to texts and resources departments don’t have the funds to purchase. The iPads have allowed students more personalized, flexible pathways to demonstrate learning on digital platforms, such as movies, websites and blogs in some classrooms.
Last week I had the opportunity to see how iPads have changed learning for students, teachers, administrators and even sports coaches in less than two years. I challenged myself to be a learner again and film, edit and publish using iMovie on my iPhone. I hit roadblocks trying out a new program, persevered and problem solved. It’s important for a teacher to become a learner again.
Technology is changing. Our world is changing. The iPads aren’t the only tool students need in this rapidly changing world, but they’re making a huge difference at BHS.