MSMS 1:1 iPad Program Details

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Marshall Simonds Middle School will soon be Burlington’s second full 1:1 school. The BPS EdTech and IT Teams have been preparing for the deployment to students. Here are some important details about the initiative.

All students in grades 6-8 will be assigned iPads. Students will be using iPad 2s. Students will not be taking iPads home at this time. The MSMS iPads will be fully managed by Burlington Public Schools. The iPads have been set up using Apple’s Configurator program. Students will not be able to install or delete apps. Students will also not have access to the iMessage app. Safari will remain as the web browser for all devices since the iPads are staying at school. Burlington will be providing cases for all student iPads. Parents and families will not be asked to purchase insurance for student iPads.

Marshall Simonds teachers have been working on developing digital content and materials. Teachers have also selected curriculum based apps to be installed on student iPads. Although student iPads will have just over 40 apps installed during the initial deployment, we have always believed that any 1:1 program should not focus on just the device and apps. iPads and 1:1 environments provide students with constant access to powerful digital learning tools. These tools can be used to help create engaging content and lessons. Burlington continues to focus as much as possible on what we call Foundational Apps. We are also committed to having students and teachers use cloud based apps and services.

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Foundational Apps provide students and teachers with powerful digital content creation, distribution, and storage. Students can use these apps to complete assignments and return completed work to teachers. While not all classrooms will be paperless, the workflow provided by our Foundational Apps can enable teachers to use digital forms of content as much as possible.  These apps serve as the basic workflow for students and can be used in any curriculum area.

Please see the BPS EdTech Apps blog for a complete listing of MSMS apps. Click on the Middle School category tab to see all the apps being installed on MSMS iPads.

One of the best aspects of the Burlington High School 1:1 program has been how BHS students have take an active role in the learning process. Students have been involved in every step of the program from initial planning to daily classroom best practices. The 1:1 program has given students many opportunities for leadership in the program. A great example of this is the BHS Student HelpDesk.

Marshall Simonds will also have a similar program to the BHS Student HelpDesk. Each homeroom will have two Student Tech Leaders who will assist with the iPads and iPad Cart Management. Students will also the opportunity to be part of a new MSMS Student Tech Crew that meets during activity block periods.

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The MSMS iPad program will have the added benefit of some great new classroom technology. Marshall Simonds has recently completed a major renovation as part of a Massachusetts School Building Authority project. Every MSMS classroom has been outfitted with new wall mounted LCD projectors and AppleTVs during this project. Teachers also have access to the Reflector app for iPad mirroring. AppleTVs and Reflector provide MSMS with an outstanding technology infrastructure driven by a student centered classroom.

All MSMS students will receive their iPads during introduction sessions. These sessions will be similar to the iPad Driver’s Ed sessions that we have completed during the deployment of all BHS iPads. Students will learn about responsibility, care, foundational apps, workflow, and expectations.

MSMS families were welcomed to a special 1:1 introduction night on Monday, January 7. Here are some key points if you missed the event:

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Please continue to follow this BPS EdTech blog and the Marshall Simonds Middle School blog for more details and information about the 1:1 iPad program. We will also have posts about upcoming Parent Technology Events and family learning opportunities.

Dennis Villano, Director of Technology Integration 

This article has 2 Comments

  1. Hi Dennis,

    I have mixed feelings about the iPads use in school… I won’t go into that. I have a couple questions. Will the students be taking these home at some point and essentially replacing the use of text books and notebooks? Are there apps that the students can use on home ipads that can help with studying and quizzing that is both educational and fun? Is there a course at msms for teaching proper typing skills? I find that my child using the home ipad for homework is taking twice as long because of navigating and typing.

    1. Hi,

      I’m honestly not sure if MSMS students will take home iPads in the future. This is something that will take some time to discuss as a school community. I also don’t know for sure if iPads – at any academic level – will ever completely replace the use of textbooks or notebooks. I think the fact that we have options available is beneficial for our students. I have seen many students that prefer using iPads for note taking and organization of materials. Some others still prefer traditional notebooks and binders. I think it’s important for students to find what works best for them.

      There is not currently a full course at MSMS that teaches typing skills however typing is incorporated into the elementary and middle school technology programs. I have also seen a great improvement in typing skills in younger students simply as a result of better access to digital devices like the iPads. Students often practice their typing on a far more regular basis using a device everyday. There are also some great web based typing practice programs including Keyboard Climber and iPad apps like TapTyping available.

      I would suggest checking out our BPS EdTech Apps site and http://appsineducation.blogspot.com for some educational app suggestions. You are also welcome to attend one of our Parent Tech Nights. We are always willing to help with technology and suggest options for families.

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