Categorized | Education

Parker School announces iPad Initiative


Parker School has announced it will launch its iPad Initiative in the fall of 2013.

At that time, all students in grades 6-12 will be required to use the interactive tablet as a primary learning tool, which will be utilized for everything from content creation to instant teacher feedback to video mirroring (students can see on their iPads what the teacher is looking at and vice-versa) to communicating with other students in classrooms around the world, all with a tap of a finger.

All Parker faculty members have already received iPads and have begun exploring their use in the classroom. The 2012-13 school year will serve as a pilot year for teachers and administrators to further familiarize themselves with the iPad, to research and test the best educational apps, and to design enhanced progressive learning opportunities for students.

“There’s an enormous amount of preparation and work involved especially on the part of teachers, as it’s a challenge to develop an entirely new approach to teaching, but I think the end result is going to be a major expansion of the kinds of media available to kids as they learn. I think it (the iPad Initiative) will encourage students to be successful, especially addressing different learning styles and affinities. I think we will be able to meet all students’ needs even better. It’s going to be exciting, challenging and an ongoing thing, and I’m glad that Parker School is going to be one of the leaders in this field,” Parker Headmaster Carl Sturges said.

Parker Lower School students will also experience learning with iPads beginning this year. One set of iPads is earmarked for use in grades 4 and 5, and another set will be available to all students K-5 in the school’s new Samual N. and Mary Castle Foundation Center this fall.

This brand new center will expand Parker’s K-5 learning experience, serving as a dedicated library, technology center and meeting space.

Parker Lower School Head Heather Polhemus said, “I’m excited about the opportunities the iPads will provide our students to engage in learning, to create and to connect globally. As a school community it allows us to continue developing the 21st century skills our students need.”

Middle and upper school students who currently own a tablet or other digital book device are encouraged to use it this school year, primarily as an e-reader for certain classes’ textbooks which have digital versions available.

As another part of Parker’s technological push, middle and upper schoolers will begin using the new First Hawaiian Bank Media Studio come this fall, where they will have access to powerful MacBook Air laptops as well as audio, video and photography equipment.

The center’s state-of-the-art video conferencing equipment will also provide professional development opportunities for faculty and staff and eventually open up off-campus learning opportunities for our students.

Parker School junior Darnee Brighter is looking forward to using an iPad for academics.

She said, “It’s great that we’re getting iPads because it will help us more with school and because we will have all of our textbooks on it and it will help us be able to keep an electronic calendar with updates. Also so we don’t have to lug around huge books. I’m excited.”

Seventh grader Zachariah Kaufmann said, “Well, the reason I like iPads instead of books is because it’s easier to carry around and you don’t have to carry all the weight on your back. It’s just a higher version of books (and) a very big leap in technology.”

Sturges said, “From interactive textbooks to instant feedback on a math problem, to a lighter backpack, I’m thrilled we’re moving the school in this direction.”

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