The first day of school is always exciting. At La Pietra this morning, the excitement was even greater than usual, as each student received a brand new iPad for their use during the year.
It is the first 1:1 iPad program in the State of Hawaii and represents an evolution in teaching and learning. In addition to the new iPads, classrooms are now equipped with air printers that connect wirelessly to the new devices.
Head of School, Mahina Eleneki Hugo, announced the news and students received their iPads a few minutes later in their hui. Their enthusiasm was evident as they quickly snatched up their assigned device from their advisor and began to maneuver through the touch screen menu.
“I’m definitely excited and I can’t wait to use them in class,” said senior Nicole Morisugi.
Teachers are also eager to integrate the new tool, both for curricular purposes and to help student organize their time and assignments.
“In social studies, it’ll be great. I can easily use apps like Google Maps to give students first hand views of cities and countries around the world,” said new social studies teacher, Julie Dinius, adding that students will also be accessing video content and primary documents in class.
“It’s going to open doors for us that we haven’t had open to us in the past,” said science teacher Michelle Rumschlag, who added that one of the first things she would do is to teach her students how to organize assignments using the built-in reminder tool.
According to Shelley Lane, Director of Curriculum and College Counseling, the new iPads will be used for much more than to connect to the internet.
“Mobile technologies like the iPad allow for girls and young women to work more efficiently and effectively in meeting personalized needs based on the ways girls learn best – through social connectedness, spatial ability, and collaborative mentorships,” she said. She expects that having the iPads in each girls’ hands will result in meaningful interaction, connection and collaboration both within and outside of classroom walls.
La Pietra faculty will participate in ongoing professional development and have formed professional learning communities to learn more about how the powerful new tool can be used in their classes.
For photos from the first day of school, see the album to the left.