Tablets in Classrooms: What's Your Take?
It's part of a new technology initiative. Do you think students should have them in class?
The training and use of tablets, in this case a Lenovo tablet, is part of Phase 2 of the district's new technology program. To train the teachers, Joel Handler, the district's director of technology, and a staff of three others will offer more than 200 two-hour training courses.
Within 24-hours of opening the registration system for the courses, the district said it received over 1,700 sign-ups for classes. Those classes will be taught over the summer in Hillsborough High School classrooms. The district says the courses offerings will address five strands of technology integration: device training, productivity tools, asynchronous learning, digital content, and globalizing the curriculum.
About 10 percent of Hillsborough students in grades 5-12 will be given either iPads or Chromebooks in the new school year as part of a pilot program, Superintendent of Schools Jorden Schiff said at the June 11 BOE meeting.
The district said that students equipped with the technology will be in selected teams at Hillsborough Middle School and Auten Road Intermediate School. At Hillsborough High School, the students will be in selected courses.
The district also said that teachers were asked if they were interested in participating in the pilot program, and interest far surpassed the amount of courses and teams planned for the pilot. The principals and administration made the determination of which teams and courses would use the Chromebooks/iPads, according to the district, with the decisions based on such factors as a teachers’ willingness to explore technology use in the classroom, the ability to communicate with their colleagues regarding their experiences, their willingness to study the device and its impact on the classroom.
Many of the teacher training courses have wait lists because of the demand, with the possibility of more classes being added.
“The trainers and I knew that teachers were eager to learn and experiment with how they can integrate technology into the classroom,” Handler said in a release from the district. “We expected teachers to sign-up for classes but, this level of interest has far surpassed our highest expectations."
We want to know your thoughts on tablets in the classroom. Are you in support of the new initiative? Let us know in the poll below.