From high school seniors to kindergarteners, every student in Fraser Public Schools now has access to an iPad and with 5,000 of the devices having been distributed this year, that access is 1:1.
Using funding from a $19.9 million bond passed in 2011, the district purchased and distributed 5,000 of the devices in what is now the largest iPad deployment in the state of Michigan and one of the top 15 K-12 iPad deployments in the world, according to a release from Fraser Public Schools.
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“Teachers can now leverage technology at the point of instruction rather than only having access to computers during the assigned computer lab time,” said Superintendent Dr. David Richards, in a prepared statement. “Our teachers can customize each child’s educational plan to better meet the student’s learning needs in each content area.”
The catalyst for this 1:1 mobile device initiative was a desire to offer personalized learning to every student in the district.
“Though we have enjoyed a rich tradition of providing our students with a high quality education, as a community, a Board of Education, and staff, we realize that public schools are facing an unprecedented season of change,” Richards added. “Our drive in Fraser to redesign our school district comes from a realization that we must provide our students with customized educational experiences that will prepare them to be successful in today’s college and work environment.”
Classroom sets of iPads were distributed for students in developmental kindergarten through second grade, while students in grades 3-12 received individual iPads. Fraser’s teachers and administrators also received new devices, including MacBook Pro laptops and iPads, at the end of last school year.
Since receiving their devices, teachers have been training with Apple employees and participating in professional development to better understand the technology now available and learn how these tools can be used to enhance the present curriculum.
“Though you will recognize the blending of our traditional offerings with the infusion of a new digital offerings, our focus is not on the technology. Rather, we have a laser focus on student learning and increasing student achievement,” Richards said in a statement. “We believe that student learning drives the innovations that we are making within our school district.”
The district has also added a 21st century literacy course to the curriculum to support today’s students – 21st century learners who have never known a world without computers, cell phones or the Internet.