I was privileged to be able to visit Center Grove district high school, middle school, and elementary schools. While these schools were not Project Based Schools, they were closer related to “traditional” schools, however, were based in block schedules as well as one-to-one iPad.
When first visiting the school it seemed like any other high school with students chatting in the halls, school spirit banners and team jerseys for games, but when you walked into classrooms they were run much different mainly due to the heavy use of the iPads.
Students were sitting in large tables when their iPads in-front of them doing work, many QR codes were scattered across the rooms. When talking with the students they liked the iPads, saying they could personally get information on their laptops quickly as well as work collaboratively.
Middle School and Elementary School
From the high school we visited the middle school that was one-to-one netbook. Students each had personal small laptops kept in the carts in the classroom. Students could work individually on lessons and activities as well as in groups. Kindergarten was also one-to-one iPads for all kindergarten students.The same went for the elementary school, students were taught a few times a week in the computer labs to create presentations and how to save files, helping make them tech experts by the time they get to middle school.
While these are great tools we were lucky to visit classrooms where the technology was prepared and used correctly and effectively for learning instead of just for the sake of technology.
The only problem I would see with some much technology was that students still need group interaction, and while I saw it a lot in the middle school and elementary school, the high school students seemed to just sit on their iPads all day, staring at a screen. While I may be different some days, and the iPads are an amazing tool I think that the students still need group interaction, conversing face to face and speaking in-front of groups, which can be hindered with the easiness of the iPads.
If you are interested in this new kinds of schools or what Center Grove is doing with iPads here is a link to their school website HERE