Friday, May 3, 2013

1-1 Program Welcome Letter

Dear Rising 8th Grade Parents and Guardians, May 1, 2013

We are excited to announce that the 8th grade will be participating in a One-to-One iPad program next year. This means each student in the 8th grade will be issued an iPad to use for the entire school year.  We see this curriculum initiative as a way to help foster skills necessary for learning in the 21st century, while not losing sight of the core principles that have made the Richmond Middle School program successful for so long. It is the task of our middle school to bridge the gap between childhood and adulthood, from dependence to independence, and from understanding the world in a simple and concrete manner to comprehending it in its multifaceted, multilayered configuration. We engage in this work with the understanding that this initiative will only enhance the students’ experience. Teachers will be able to reach students in new and engaging ways, without disrupting the traditional methods that have served our students.

In considering such an initiative, we believe that students need access to “anytime/anywhere” mobile digital tools. They should be able to instantly share and publish their ideas in text, graphics, images and video and seamlessly use them alongside paper, paintbrush and notebook. Twenty-first century learning demands that a student be able to collaborate to solve problems and to think abstractly and in new ways to solve unique problems. We believe embracing mobile technology will enhance the student experience more than ever before imagined.

We have chosen the iPad as our device for this program due to its simplicity of use, quality as a book replacement, short startup time, extended battery life, portability, ease of handling and sharing as well as its ability to create and display multimedia content. While we are selecting the iPad as the best option to initiate our work with mobile technology, we will continue to explore the increasingly diverse options available to our students.

Here are a few ways we anticipate utilizing the technology:

-As a student planner and calendar and to access the school email system.
-For taking notes and writing.
-For reading and annotating digital editions of school texts and readings.
-Creating multimedia and online reports, projects, and assessments.
-Supporting school projects with camera and video.
-Participating in class blogs and discussions.
-Accessing class portal pages and other online resources.

We are truly excited to work in partnership with you on this initiative. We will keep you informed of upcoming orientation activities as we prepare for the 8th grade year.

Michael Lepene Marty Warren Laura Abbene
Associate Principal Technology Integrator Library-Media Specialist