The Merrill Area Public School District is excited to inform our students, families, and community members of the 1-to-1 iPad initiative that will be implemented for all K-8 students in our district starting in November. The purpose of this initiative is to create a dynamic educational experience that supports a personalized learning approach and the skills necessary for our students to be successful in a digital age.
The changing landscape of printed information to digital form will require today’s student to have a different set of skills than what was required just a decade ago. Future graduates must be equipped with not just basic skills, but a variety of 21st Century skills that include problem solving, critical thinking, communication, digital citizenship and digital literacy. The reality is that a student who is college and career ready will need to be able to access information quickly, synthesize and communicate information, and collaborate with colleagues – not just in person, but within a global and digital community.
The Merrill Area Public Schools recognizes that integrating technology requires us to train and demonstrate appropriate digital citizenship. Students will learn how to appropriately interact and positively contribute within a society full of technology. It is our goal to develop self-monitoring habits in students that sustains and improves a digital community by teaching the following primary concepts: Respect Yourself/Respect Others, Educate Yourself/Connect with Others, and Protect Yourself/Protect Others.
While iPads will provide anytime and anyplace access to learning, iPads won’t take the place of teachers. Our teachers remain the most important factor for students’ academic success. The role of the teacher in a 1 to 1 technology environment will be to deliver instruction, prescribe authentic learning opportunities, and monitor student achievement.
A lot of time has been spent researching best practices and visiting other districts that have successfully implemented 1-to-1 devices. Our district is dedicated to improving student learning by focusing on desired outcomes and expectations. Through this implementation process we will focus on:
• Using technology to support an engaging and motivating learner centered environment
• Providing learning experiences that address a variety of student needs. Promote collaboration, creation, consumption of information, critical thinking and digital citizenship
• Strengthening students’ technology skills necessary for future success
Moving forward, we are excited as we continue to transform the learning opportunities for all students that will prepare them to be college and career ready. Over the next few weeks we will provide specific information regarding the K-8 student iPad deployment. This will include information regarding specific dates and times of deployments at each school. It is important that parents and students attend the deployment nights at their schools.
We know you will have questions regarding this deployment and the use of iPads. A frequently asked questions document will soon be available on our website for parents to use as a guide. It is important for everyone to understand that this is a comprehensive process in which we will face challenges. We ask for your patience as staff assist you through each phase of the iPad deployment. We look forward to seeing you at your school’s deployment night.