What This Means For You
What does it mean to be an iPad School?
First and foremost, the iPad is central to the learning in all classes at Chatham Hall school for girls. Teachers have integrated its use into their classes, using it for a range of classroom activities and projects, from posting assignments to preparing sophisticated research and creative works.
It also is the key to learning itself. The iPad encourages students to research and think broadly and deeply. It makes learning more democratic, with the answer to many questions at the students' finger tips rather than simply with the teacher. It allows teachers to place discovery learning and exploration at the center of their curricula, encouraging students to be their own teachers, and allowing teachers to be their students' coaches.
The iPad encourages interdisciplinary learning. It allows for a range of intelligences - written, visual, spoken - to be engaged and to interact. It allows students to combine these elements in new documents - iDocuments, if you will - that contain the written, the visual, and the spoken. The iPad makes learning inherently multidisciplinary. It encourages in-depth exploration and analysis of a topic; less becomes more, as students dig deeply into topics with their iPads rather than passing over complex ideas and allusions that they do not understand.
Finally, the iPad expands the notion of the classroom: the classroom becomes a library, and the whole campus and places off campus become classrooms, as students' horizons expand.
How does the use of the iPad help students develop 21st-century skills?
Creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking are at the forefront of 21st-century skills and are supported by the iPad, first and foremost, through its adaptability and its lack of constraint when used by students to create and problem-solve. As a tool, the iPad opens up innumerable ways for students to approach thinking, present knowledge, and communicate. Creativity is as open as the numbers of students using the iPad in the same way that students who put brush to paper create their own style and vastly different, yet equally as powerful, outcomes.
Allowing for students to make choices about how best to use an iPad to solve a problem not only reinforces content material but also bolsters collaboration and communication. In class and out, students are able to establish connections with people in the same room but also Face Time someone halfway around the world for research purposes or to build a wider community.
An up-to-the-minute technology device, having an iPad in hand allows students to experiment with and become skilled and discerning users of technology. Incorporating such technology into curricular and extra-curricular activities also requires that discussions around ethical issues take place, blending learning and education with life skills and lessons.