Mobile Learning Initiative

To the parents of fifth grade students at Court Elementary

New initiative launching Fall 2015

We are excited to announce the launching of a new technological initiative, effective fall of 2015! Our goal to connect students with networked devices is not an absent-minded attempt to look like the Apple store, make our kids think we are “cool” and “hip,” or compete with other schools. After years of research, we as teachers, administrators, and members of the Board, believe that this exciting new initiative will increase learning. In order to do achieve these ends, we will now have 1:1 Classrooms at Court, meaning that we will provide each student with a mobile device.


In today’s world, learning is not confined to the classroom. People learn all throughout the day—easily and effortlessly. Teaching and learning, in the traditional sense, have changed. We want our school to be a setting in which students engage in authentic learning—learning that makes the learner want to keep learning. This type of learning sticks. Our hope is that by giving all students access to mobile devices, they will creatively pursue their own interests in the context of our curriculum. With mobile devices, students will have the opportunity to tweet, blog, compile their work in an eportfolio, utilize voice recordings to increase their voice as students, and use many apps covering all subject areas.

Benefits for students

We foresee a number of benefits for students, including:

  • An opportunity for mastery of technology
  • Learning to control their use of technology rather than be controlled by it
  • Learning to connect through social media
  • Access to course materials, assignments, and grades 24/7
  • Increased organization, with all information and messaging organized into one portal

Concerns

This sounds like this could bring more harm than good. What about cost, keeping kids from misusing technology, changing traditional classroom work, and protecting my child's privacy?

Yes, we have thought of all of those questions too. We have weighed the positives and the negatives. But, every new initiative brings along positives and negatives. We want to keep up with your children. We don’t want students to arrive at school and find it “outdated.” We believe that utilizing mobile devices will transform their learning environment into a more authentic experience. We expect challenges along way and are prepared to adjust as needed. We will appreciate your patience and understanding during this transition time. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. We are so excited about the opportunities ahead for our school community.

Summer preparation/Helpful parent links

In the next week, a Mobile Device handbook will be emailed to parents. All parents and students are required to read the handbook and turn in a signed agreement to Court Elementary Technology Policies on the first day of school, August 18, 2015.


Below are resources we believe will help you in preparation for these changes this summer:


  • The first link includes videos that address Learning with Technology and Multitasking Help for Kids (we believe both are helpful to watch!)
  • The second link is information Apple Computers offers to children during the summer
  • The third link is a comprehensive explanation of the why behind this whole initiative
  • The fourth link is information about Universal Design for Learning (UDL). We believe this technology initiative supports UDL. Read more!

Contact information

We appreciate you! Please contact me, Mary Claire Courtney, with any concerns.


Sincerely,

Mary Claire Courtney

Technology Specialist

Court Elementary, Somewhere, GA