Cassadaga Valley will get iPads with one-to-one plan


OBSERVER Staff Writer

SINCLAIRVILLE – The Cassadaga Valley Board of Education approved the iPad one-to-one plan during its recent meeting.

Technology Coordinator Phil Bens and High School Principal Josh Gilevski gave an in-depth iPad presentation and its benefits for the entire middle/ high school body for the next school year (2014-15).

“We want more student-driven classrooms,” Gilevski said. “We want to encourage professional growth in students and teachers.”

Their presentation highlighted the following: Organizers want to go to a more student-centered learning environment, which the iPad allows for. They want to provide our students with more 21st century skills. The iPad can be used as a tool in the classroom which provides ample opportunities for collaboration, creativity, inquiry-based learning, and creating an engaging learning environment, among others.

The presentation pointed out Apple spent 20 years studying the effects of 1-to-1 technology in education in a study called “the ACOT Study 1 and 2.”

ACOT2 contends that outmoded ap-proaches to education and education reform must be replaced with new and creative ways of thinking about designing learning environments for this generation of students.

The presentation stated it all starts with staff development, one that models the Apple classroom of tomorrow approach. This allows for a multi-pronged approach to professional development.

First, there will be five core teachers who have experienced the 1-to-1 iPad model in their classrooms in this school year (2013-14).

After-school sessions will be regular and mandatory for teachers to attend, BOCES training will be provided as needed, summer curriculum hours will be used, screencasts will be regularly used, and department meeting time will be used to discuss the 1-to1 iPad program and provide time for reflection.

The presentation described how this will help students. At the beginning of the school year, guidelines will be given to students mirroring acceptable usage policy and Internet safety. Each student will have a specific iPad assigned to them by number. iPads travel with the students throughout the school day in the building, but do not go home, at this point.

If a student does break or lose an iPad, there will be a small surplus for immediate replacement while the other iPad is repaired. The district will be participating in a BOCES program for iPad repair.

The school will provide a “core set” of apps that every student will have, and will be purchasing APPS as needed.

The school would like to offer a community night to present to interested parties n what the plans are for the 1-to-1 iPad project.

The school would like to bring in guest speakers from various industries in Chautauqua County to present to teachers during the professional development portion of the project.

The school would also like to eventually have the capability for students to share with the community ways that they are using this technology in preparation for real-world situations once they leave CVCS.

“It has been really successful so far,” Gilevski said. “We have started to move this technology little by little into the classrooms.”

“Each student will have to treat this technology with respect,” Bens said. “They won’t be able to go home with these iPads yet; they will have to take this seriously.”

Bens went on to describe how this will help influence students to participate more in their community.

“Students will be able to share what they have learned about their community,” he said. “They need to know how to use this technology for the 21 century in order to build skills they will need throughout their lives.”

The iPad 2 is the generation of tablet they want to buy for the students and teachers. Each iPad is $349 when buying more than 100 of them. The total cost will amount to $34,386.

Other schools have moved on with this project and it has proved to be a good move.

“We want to be ahead of the curve, not behind it,” Gilevski said. “Two other schools are using this technology now.”

Students will have to report to homeroom to pick up their assigned iPad and at the end of the school day they will have to return the iPad to their homerooms. Each iPad is to be accounted for before the students can leave.