Magazine article Momentum

iPads & All Saints Catholic School

Magazine article Momentum

iPads & All Saints Catholic School

Article excerpt

The Journey to 1:1

Technology is now part of every phase of life, and students must be given the tools necessary for this continuous change and development. Catholic schools throughout our nation have seen the importance of technology within the framework of learning. As a result, many Catholic schools have or are about to embark on a 1:1 technology program. This process is a difficult one that must include the long-term involvement of all stakeholders.

All Saints Catholic School (ASCS) is located in Jupiter, Florida. ASCS is unique in that it is the first interparochial, PK-8 grade school in the Diocese of Palm Beach. It is also one of the first elementary schools in the diocese to begin a school wide 1:1 iPad program. During the 20122013 academic year, ASCS researched various mobile devices and visited other schools that had already implemented them successfully. The iPad was chosen because of its ease of use, sophistication, moderate cost, mobility, and attractiveness to our youth. The iPad provides all faculty and students with a technological tool to enhance student engagement, learning and achievement while bringing higherorder thinking skills to a new level.

The 1:1 iPad program was fully established during the 2013-2014 school year. All students and faculty are assigned an iPad. Students in grades PK-5 have an iPad that remains at school, middle school students from grades 6-8 may use their iPad in school and at home to complete their classwork.

With the backing and support of the six pastors, the administration and a technolog)' specialist, ASCS moved forward in 2012 in planning for a fall 2013 1:1 deployment. This was a short time frame to successfully plan implementation. All Saints was up for the challenge. All faculty members were given iPads in spring of 2013 and had a few months to use them before the school year ended. The administration and technolog)' specialist quickly began to evaluate infrastructure and review necessary equipment, software, accessories and peripherals. They determined that an upgrade to the current access points was critical. With a new administrator in place, All Saints moved forward during the summer months to get ready for the fall 2013 deployment. Haring sufficient and qualified personnel is key and we soon determined that additional technology staff was needed. All Saints chose Maxis 360, a local technology company, to handle all infrastructure and management of our technology hardware. Alter close examination of our infrastructure and needs, Maxis assisted us in making the necessary upgrades and improvements that would support our 1:1 program and future technology goals.

All Saints used Apple Configurator to configure devices and used a Layered Deployment Model, where the school owned the apps and pushed them out along with profiles to teacher and student devices. In addition, teachers had their own Apple ID to download apps as well. There was a bit of a learning curve with Apple Configurator and we experienced some challenges while deploying iPads in this manner. Apple support was very good in assisting with concerns and always helped resolve any issues that arose. Eventually, Apple Configurator became quite time-consuming to update apps for 520 iPads. In retrospect, this task should be completed by several persons who have a vested interest in the program's success. …

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