#Move over textbooks, paper and pen, the new learning tool at Providence Christian Academy (PCA) is an iPad 2!# More than 500 of the popular and interactive gadgets were distributed to students seventh through 12th grade in November.# Students like 12thgrader Alex Mele, admit this new resource helps increase her study habits.
“We can now use flashcard apps (applications) to help us with our studying and that, I think, really makes a difference because before, my hand would cramp up from writing as much,”# Mele said.
Efficient note taking is just one perk students are experiencing.# Principal Sean Chapman said the entire school has utilized 25-30 applications, which in turn helps students and teachers use the technology more efficiently.
“The real value is everyone is working from the same platform,”# Chapman said.# “We found apps that translate across all grade levels and a lot of the apps we chose were free, too.”#
For specialized classes such as, anatomy and physiology or advanced placement classes, teachers can submit proposals for specific apps they”d like to use in their classroom.# Chapman said the administration handles each request on a case by case basis to see if there is room in the budget to purchase the app.
“This is the world these kids are living in,”# Chapman adds.# “The transition was not difficult or long at all.”#
PCA has also implemented a student-led help desk called the iProv team.# Open during school hours, students handle help desk tickets from both other students and teachers who are experiencing problems with their iPads. Mele is a member of the iProv team and says the experience has made her consider a career in technology.
“I was interested in learning more about technology and this is a great way to learn hands on,”# Mele said.# “Plus, I wanted to know everything about how to work my iPad!”#
PCA also purchased 50 devices for grades Kindergarten through 6th available for sign out so these students can learn how to use an iPad 2. Senior Albert Renshew has designed more that 40 apps that are now sold in the Apple store.# He was thrilled when he learned PCA was investing in iPads and says his knowledge of the tablet has come in handy.
“I”ve helped a lot of teachers and some students learn their way around their iPad,”# Renshew said. “I love it because it”s what I want to do for a job, so it”s just more practice!”#
The school has invested $750,000 into the entire iProve initiative, which included hiring a full time new salary position to help train and support the program over a three-year period.# To fund the program, PCA initiated the “Providence Tomorrow, The Next Generation,” capital campaign.