Purpose of the POWER Zone iPad Initiative
It has been far too long that students have had to be educated in a system that is light years behind their own personal technological capabilities and experiences. We are excited to begin the process of allowing students to POWER up for school!
There is substantial research to validate that these devices, if used appropriately, can lead to increased engagement and academic achievement in and outside of the classroom. Our number one goal is to ensure we are not simply placing an expensive toy in the hands of our students, but rather introducing a dynamic instructional tool that will enable teachers and students to interact in ways that have never before been possible.
In the spring of 2012, the POWER Zone of Falcon School District 49 began exploring how to incorporate mobile devices into everyday classroom learning. Our approach was twofold: 1) to get this powerful technology in the hands of teachers so they could realize the potential of a mobile classroom; and 2) create a pilot group of students to begin implementing a 1:1 iPad program.
- In the spring of 2012, pilot teams were created – one 5th grade classroom at each of the zone’s three elementary schools, one team of four 8th grade teachers in the middle school, and 4 teachers in the high school
- In July 2012, all POWER Zone teachers received a new MacBook Pro and an iPad
- In August 2012, over 350 iPads were distributed to students in pilot groups
- In August 2013, the program grows to include an additional 130 iPads on a 6th grade team
- In August 2014, a team of 7th grade is added at Skyview, bringing the total number of 1:1 iPads to well over 500
- Many of these 7th graders have been a part of the iPad program since the pilot in their 5th grade year. This allows us to collect longitudinal data on a unique subset of students.