The Watertown-Mayer school district handed out roughly 1,050 iPads to students over the course of four evenings last week as teachers and students prepare for the launch of its new 1-to-1 technology initiative, called Toolbox 21.
As part of the program, each student in the district, from kindergarten through 12th grade, is being issued an iPad. The aim of the program is to drive student achievement by presenting curriculum in a more engaging and exciting way. The iPads give students easy and quick access to the internet for school assignments, allow teachers and students easy multimedia options for lessons or projects, and lessens the school’s reliance on traditional textbooks. Fourth through 12th graders will take their iPads home with them for 24/7 access, while kindergartners through third graders will leave theirs at school.
Each student was required to attend one of four training sessions with a parent last week in order to be issued an iPad. Families learned details of the new program including rules and policies, insurance options and other general information. Students then went to individual classrooms where they learned the basics of the devices and set them up so they are ready for use. The goal is that all students are ready to have their iPad for use by the first day of school on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
Scott Fitzsimonds, the school district’s new Director of Technology, Teaching and Learning, told the school board on Monday night that it was an impressive effort to distribute more than 1,000 iPads in four nights with so few issues or problems.
“Hats off to the Apple Cohort team, all those teachers and everybody else that took on a role and made things run very well,” Fitzsimonds said.