Technology Pilot Guides Device Plan

Teachers Share Learning from Technology Pilot
Posted on 04/02/2018
Mrs. Shulman's students

The findings of a six-week pilot program involving seven teachers across five grades will help set the direction for future student device purchases. Teachers involved in the project shared their experiences with the Board of Education on March 20.

The Anytime Anywhere Access pilot is one of the initiatives developed by the Innovate 28 Committee, which was created to examine how to implement technology in the classroom to further engage students in meaningful learning experiences.

Two devices were piloted, the HP Probook360 with a stylus and the iPad with keyboard case and stylus.  A subcommittee thoroughly researched the devices by working with school districts across the state and experts in technology. These selections met the committee’s goals for learning, device management, cost, durability, brain research and device operating system.

The students in these classrooms had access to the devices at all times, using the HP Probook for several weeks, then the iPad for several weeks. The main emphasis of the pilot was for teachers to measure how well the devices engaged students, enhanced learning and extended the classroom to the outside world. Teachers and instructional coaches were following the instructional concepts of the Triple E Framework (Engagement, Enhancement and Extension as described in Liz Kolb’s book, “Learning First, Technology Second”) to meaningfully incorporate technology in learning.
8th grade restaurant review website

Eighth Grade Pilot

“I was intimidated at first,” said Eighth-Grade Language Arts Teacher Wendy Hicks. “I always listened and watched younger teachers as they tried out different things in the classroom. Having devices at my fingertips was new.”

By the end of the pilot, her students had launched a restaurant review website that allowed them creativity and discovery that never would have happened with paper and pencil, she said. The students were challenged on how to best communicate their ideas through interviews and critiques, photos and digital display. Language Arts Teacher Michael LaCerra said the students were more motivated to write and re-write because their work was going to be public. Without daily access to devices, the project would have been impossible, they said.

A 2nd grade student uses a stylus on an iPad to label a photo.
Second Grade Pilot

In Mandy Shulman’s second-grade class, her students used devices for See Saw, Flipgrid and Book Creator. Students wrote memoirs and critiqued each other’s work. They read about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and then voice-recorded their dreams for the future. They also created books with voice, text and drawing. Families could view all of their work through an online portal.

 “This is an exciting time for us,” said Kathryn Finch, Meadowbrook Music Teacher. More access to devices "is going to open the door for empowering our learners with voice and choice that goes beyond the walls of our classroom.”

Device Evaluation

The iPad with a keyboard and case out-performed the ProBook 360. Factors included:

    Apple Teacher training provided a clear starting point for using the device instructionally.

    The iPad was the most accessible device for Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration and Communication.

    The native Apps on iPad allow for extensive creation capability.

    A majority of pilot teachers and students recommended the iPad.

Next Steps

Next month, a plan will outline how iPads will be slowly integrated into a one-to-one system. This will allow for all existing devices to be concentrated among the grades not involved in the first wave of implementation.

Instructional goals

    Use the Triple E Framework (Engagement, Enhancement and Extension as described in Liz Kolb’s book, “Learning First, Technology Second”) to meaningfully incorporate technology with high-quality pedagogical decisions.

    Continuous growth through student-centered coaching

    Model global and digital citizenship


Student growth and achievement goals

    Develop student leadership teams to become technology ambassadors for their peers

    Students should be producers more than consumers

    Students need to learn how to practice global and digital citizenship