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Willowwood Elementary implements iPad program to enrich student learning

BY DI STAFF | SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 5:00 AM

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For the upcoming 2013-2014 school year, an Iowa City private school will introduce new additions to their technological lineup.

Willowwind Elementary, 950 Dover St., has enacted a new tablet program, called the 1:1 iPad program.

It will be available to fifth and sixth grade students, who recently were encouraged to buy the tablets to use for homework and learning, a Thursday press release said.

An iPad Boot Camp program was started earlier this month as part of this year’s pilot 1:1 Learning Program for the two grade levels.

Teachers started this program in “response to the belief that curriculum should be individualized to suit learning strengths, differentiated to meet academic need, and structured in a way that encourages and values student’s creative passions.”

The new iPad program is said to help educate students for becoming successful learners throughout life as well as equip them with a modern skillset through student collaboration, Information and Computer Technology, and critical thinking. Staff members say these specific skills should be regarded as “the building to progressive learning in our ever-changing world”.

Fifth and sixth-grade teacher, Rachel DeMaris said the school started this program as a response to the belief centered on an individualized curriculum to match learning strengths, differentiated to meet academic need, and structured in a way that encourages and values student’s creative passions.

“Teachers strive to provide this within ‘real world,’ meaningful contexts that develop the varied skills our students will need in order to be successful in the 21st century,” she said in the release. “We believe the iPad is a tool that can help us achieve that goal to even higher standards.”

To prepare for the tablet implementation, DeMaris attended a number of workshops, including the 2013 EdTechTeacher Summer Teaching with Technology Workshop in Chicago, IL.

— by Greta Meyle


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