Cassadaga Valley To Implement iPad One-To-One Plan

SINCLAIRVILLE – The Cassadaga Valley Board of Education approved the iPad one-to-one plan during its recent meeting.

Technology Coordinator Phil Bens and High School Principal Josh Gilevski gave an in-depth iPad presentation and its benefits for the entire middle/high school body for the next school year.

“We want more student-driven classrooms,” Gilevski said. “We want to encourage professional growth in students and teachers.”

Organizers want to go to a more student-centered learning environment, which the iPad allows, according to the presentation. They want to provide students with more 21st century skills. The iPad can be used as a tool in the classroom which provides ample opportunities for collaboration, creativity, inquiry-based learning and creating an engaging learning environment, among others.

The presentation pointed out Apple spent 20 years studying the effects of one-to-one technology in education.

The study contends that outmoded approaches to education and education reform must be replaced with new and creative ways of thinking about designing learning environments.

The presentation stated it all starts with staff development, one that models the Apple classroom of tomorrow approach. This allows for a multi-pronged approach to professional development.

First, there will be five core teachers who have experienced the one-to-one iPad model in their classrooms in this school year. After-school sessions will be regular and mandatory for teachers to attend, BOCES training will be provided as needed, summer curriculum hours will be used, screencasts will be regularly used and department meeting time will be used to discuss the one-to-one iPad program and provide time for reflection.

At the beginning of the school year, guidelines will be given to students mirroring acceptable usage policy and Internet safety. Each student will have a specific iPad assigned to them by number. iPads travel with the students throughout the school day in the building, but do not go home.

If a student does break or lose an iPad, there will be a small surplus for immediate replacement while the other iPad is repaired. The district will be participating in a BOCES program for iPad repair.

The school will provide a “core set” of apps that every student will have, and will be purchasing apps as needed.

The school would like to offer a community night to present to interested parties what the plans are for the one-to-one iPad project. The school would like to bring in guest speakers from various industries in Chautauqua County to present to teachers during the professional development portion of the project.

The district would also like to eventually have the capability for students to share with the community ways that they are using this technology in preparation for real-world situations once they leave CVCS.

“It has been really successful so far,” Gilevski said. “We have started to move this technology little by little into the classrooms.”

The iPad 2 is the generation of tablet they want to buy for the students and teachers. Each iPad is $349 when buying more than 100 of them. The total cost will amount to $34,386.

“We want to be ahead of the curve, not behind it,” Gilevski said. “Two other schools are using this technology now.”