Driving and scaling innovation in education is a challenging but worthwhile undertaking. GWA values enquiry based learning as a way for students to construct knowledge, understand it and apply it. This is at the heart of the IB philosophy. As a PreK to 12 school, we are constantly looking for ways to develop and improve our enquiry based practices.
The effective use of technology is one such way in which we can dramatically improve our delivery of enquiry based education at GWA. The introduction of iPads or other tablets into the educational arena has transformed the way in which educators can use technology today. There are positives and negatives in the use of tablets. Many great apps exist, but the real benefit comes from viewing iPads as tools that can be used as part of the learning process. Students can be encouraged to create mock interviews with famous historic figures, explain scientific phenomenon with stop-motion animation, create podcasts for the school community, practice and record speech in a foreign language, create a screencast to explain a principle in algebra, and more.
Given the opportunity, students will naturally gravitate toward creative and innovative iPad use if allowed to use it as a learning tool. Therefore, we believe the introduction of a 1:1 iPad program Grades 4 to 9 is a great vehicle to realize creativity and innovation in teaching and learning. Students in Grades 10 – 12 would continue to utilize laptops.
Therefore, students in Grades 4 to 9 are required to have iPads (see specifications below) each day in school. They need to have a small suite of apps (20 max with no more than 5 paid apps) on their device. They need to come to school with their device charged. With every student working on the same device and in tandem with the teacher they will be able to more effectively work collaboratively, creatively and demonstrate effective learning. We want to utilize technology to truly transform learning.
Required specifications for the iPad:
Please find links to the Parent letters and apps required for September 2017.