Summit Joins the 1:1 iPad Club

At this rate, it seems like technology will never stop advancing, and Johnston schools will always be on the pulse of how to bring it into the classroom.

In 2012, iPads were purchased for every student at Johnston High School, making Johnston one of the first large high schools in the state to go 1:1.

In 2015, high school students upgraded to new iPads, while Johnston Middle School students (grades 8-9) went 1:1 with iPads for the first time.

Now, in 2016, every Johnston student in grade sixth through twelfth has their own iPad.

Nearly 1100 iPads were rolled out at Summit Middle School on October 31 and November 1 of this school year – and it could not have gone smoother.

Summit teacher Nancy Ellis and a student with their new ipad

Nancy Ellis, SUmmit teacher, helps one of her students set up an educational app on their new iPad. As of November 1, all Summit students now have their own iPad.

“It was always going to be successful,” said Ann Wiley, JCSD’s Instructional Technology Coordinator. “I am grateful that we have a supportive community, supportive parents, teachers up for the challenge, and students ready to learn.”

According to Wiley, the students remained engaged and attentive throughout the entire rollout and training process. She said the kids know their expectations and take the responsibility very seriously.

“It’s very rewarding to see the excitement, the initial uses, and how the iPads continue to affect learning,” Wiley said. “It’s both a huge challenge and accomplishment for student learning.”

Initial student training on the iPads included setting up Google mail, learning to download applications – including the Infinite Campus portal and Moodle, and how to access course materials and online textbooks. Students were also asked to re-read and sign the student technology responsible use policy.

Training then continued in small group settings thanks to the Summit teachers and their willingness to lead.

“We make adjustments every rollout,” said Wiley. “The addition of small group trainings proved a better process. It distributed the learning, helped teachers practice, and provided individual follow-up with the students.”

Summit teacher Nancy Ellis couldn’t agree more, saying the iPads themselves are perfect in small group settings.

“The students teach me about technology as much as I teach them,” said Ellis. “I’m old school so the students are light years ahead of me. It’s encouraging to watch them take learning into their own hands.”

Ellis also said the students are now discovering, researching, and finding new information every day, all on their own.

Summit teacher Nancy Ellis works with three female students to get their ipads set up.

Ellis and three of her students set up their new iPads. Summit is the third Johnston school to provide 1:1 iPads for its students.

“I had to give up some control and let the kids be in charge,” she said. “When I introduce a new topic, they are quick to provide answers and engage in their learning.”

Summit, just like the high school and middle school, has already seen the benefits of incorporating 1:1 iPads into the classroom – and it’s all thanks to the same group of staff.

“As teachers, we’re all at different places with technology,” Ellis said. “Ann [Wiley] and her team have been amazing – the trainers are patient and the knowledge rewarding.”

“Our technology team is fabulous,” Wiley said. “We work well together – problem solving through every obstacle – and we love bringing technology to the classroom.”

Next year, every Johnston elementary school will increase its technology ratio, providing a 2:1 iPad experience for every student from kindergarten through fifth grade.