When students in grades K-3 in the Cleveland School District return to school after the Christmas break, they will step into classrooms equipped with iPads.
The Cleveland 1:1 project will equip each student in first through third grade with his own iPad at school. Kindergarten students will utilize the iPads in centers.
Superintendent Jackie Thigpen said, "We are trying to maximize our dollars by using the center approach for kindergarten rather than issue individual iPads to students."
The iPads will remain in the classrooms and each day will be locked and placed on chargers so they will be ready for the students the next day.
Last week, teachers and administrators in the lower elementary grades attended professional development sessions to incorporate this technology into their classrooms.
They learned how to be a power user incorporating techniques on the iPad to have students more engaged in instruction. Gordon Worley, trainer for Apple, conducted the sessions.
Casey Andrews, second grade teacher at Hayes Cooper, said, "I am so excited about this technology. I can use the iPads for reinforcement, assessments and to track my students' progress. This is wonderful."
The district utilized funds from Title I, IDEA, and the district to implement this project, which costs around a million dollars.
Superintendent Jackie Thigpen said, "This project took many hours of planning and will bring a whole new approach to teaching and learning."
She said the district is looking at adding Chrome books for grades four through six if funds are available for the next school year. "Kids are exposed to technology everywhere and we want to engage students in school," said Thigpen.
"With the iPads, we can change the philosophy of educating students," she said.
Dr. Lisa Bramuchi, assistant superintendent for curriculum, assessment and instruction for the district said, "We can download books on the iPads for a lot less than we can purchase textbooks. This technology allows us to be more current too."
There will be guided access so students cannot go to other sites. Christy Prine, second grade teacher at Parks Elementary, said, "I'm so excited about this. The kids are already pumped up and have been asking a lot of questions. This will create a lot of learning opportunities, and they will not be bored."
Denise Mullins, Educational Technology Specialist for the school district, will become a certified Apple trainer in February.
"I am thrilled to get this technology for our district. The teachers and administrators are so excited," Mullins said.