For about a year, some students at the Schofield Elementary School have been using iPads. With the support of the Wellesley Education Foundation (WEF), the district pulled together a pilot 1:1 tablet program, under which every student uses an iPad in the classroom.
The school district will hold two forums in the coming weeks to discuss the discoveries and possible future of this program on a larger scale. Jan 10, at 7 p.m. at Town Hall and Jan 16, at 9 a.m. in the Library's Wakelin room.
Among the findings of the program, educators learned that the students started seeing their iPads more as tools than as toys. Those and more findings are on the pilot report presentation (see PDF at right).
Based on the success of the program, officials are considering making iPad rental or purchase a requirement for all incoming 5th graders in the district. Under this expanded pilot, there would be two options for families:
- Enroll an existing iPad--which the website says would be wiped and custom software installed. $40/year for four years.
- Lease to purchase an iPad with the software already installed. $155/year for four years, purchase for $1 afterward.
Both options include short-term loaners, in case the student's iPad becomes unusable.
For families which can't afford an iPad, the School District site says a program is in the works.
The district is committed to an inclusive program involving all students, regardless of a family’s financial situation. A program will be in place to ensure that students from any family with a demonstrated financial need will be able to fully participate in the 1:1 program.
More information on the 1:1 pilot program, including why an iPad was chosen, are on the FAQ page of the website.
What do you think? Will this program work, does it need to be refined, or does it not belong in the schools? Tell us in the comments.