Back to school: iPads continue to replace textbooks


Noblesville Schools is expanding its technology by piloting 1:1 iPad deployment in fifth grade classrooms thanks to a $100,000 grant the district received from the Indiana Dept. of Education.



Director of Technology Andrew Swickheimer said fifth grade teachers have worked together this summer to curate resources and build their classroom in Canvas, the learning management system for the district, and will continue to collaborate throughout the school year.

“Learning is no longer confined to within the school walls. Armed with iPads, students’ learning can take place anytime anyplace,” he said.

Swickheimer said technology is being utilized in the classroom to redefine the learning experience for Noblesville students.

“Teachers are no longer limited by stagnate textbooks,” he said. “Students and teachers can access the wealth of materials available via the internet to experience a richer, relevant, more diverse curriculum.”

Technology also is being used to personalize the educational experience for students. “With access to the internet, students are able to pursue their educational passions through inquiry based learning activities,” he said. “Technology is changing the way we access students. Teachers are no longer limited to ‘fill in’ type assessments that focus on rote memorization. Using technology tools, students are demonstrating their learning in diverse ways suited to a variety of learning styles.”

Swickheimer said the inaugural program of 1:1 iPads at NHS exceeded the district’s expectations last year.

“Throughout the day students were creating original works to demonstrate their learning using a variety of forms of digital media. Students are collaborating with each other on a regular basis as well as with others outside of Noblesville. Students are applying their learning in rigorous learning activities following research, collaboration and critical thinking,” he said.

Officials also were surprised by the amount of care shown by students with their devices.

“Based on our research, we were expecting a 5 percent rate for lost, stolen and damaged iPads. At the conclusion of the 2013-14 school year, we ended at a 2.3 percent rate,” Swickheimer said.

Students in grades 9-12 will pay $40 a semester and students in grades 6-8 will pay $35 per semester for the use of a district issued iPad. In comparison, students in Hamilton Southeastern and Center Grove Schools will pay $125 a year for a school-issued iPad

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