Our pilot program started in April 2010 with two hundred students in several of our English, Science, and History classes. Three classrooms received a set of iPads, enough to provide one for each student in the largest class that meets in that room, as class periods rotate in and out.
In January 2011, we launched our 1:1 program by issuing iPads to all of the students in one of those History classes, which they are able to use in class and then take home to do their homework.
In March 2011, as soon as the iPad2s were released, we issued them to 8 Advanced Placement History students, and they are eagerly exploring the new features.
In August 2011, we plan to issue each incoming freshman an iPad2, and the sophomores through seniors will use the original iPads that we already own.
We have wi-fi connections available to all students throughout the campus. Using the wireless capability of the iPads, students can connect to the Internet to research specific topics from their classrooms.
The iPads and iPad2s provide new access to photos, videos, daily newspapers, and resource materials that enhance the curriculum. The digital content can be seamlessly integrated into the text, adding pictures, video clips, and games to reinforce learning. Teachers use them for classwork, quizzes, test preparation, and interactive projects.
Textbook publishers have started creating digital editions for the iPad. Conventional textbooks can weigh up to five pounds each, and a separate one is needed for each course. With an iPad, eventually it's possible that all of a student’s books could be carried in the 1.5 pound device.
Funds to pay for the iPads are coming from income generated by our new program that rents our beautiful campus for conferences and retreats over the summer, and we have also dedicated capital funds for academic development. In addition, we expect to save thousands of dollars by replacing many of the paper textbooks we normally buy for each classroom.
Universities have already used technology such as the iPhone and iPod Touch in their classrooms. We are the first high school to adopt iPads as an educational tool, and we're excited about being part of this innovative program.