Middle School Technology Update

2019-2020

What We Believe

At Oakbrook Preparatory School, we educate students not for school but for life and there’s no denying that today’s lives are filled with technology. Our Technology program is entering its 7th year; we have learned a lot through this program and feel that the program is very successful. We are able to enhance the learning experience of each student while also retaining the best of the classic models that have transformed the lives of Oakbrook students all these years. Our philosophy is clear: “We don’t chase the latest technological fad; instead, we choose the tools that will best prepare our students for the world they'll inherit.”

We are excited to extend our technology program into the 2019-2020 school year with a few changes. We continue to provide teacher training throughout the year and researched 1:1 programs in the Upstate as well as in other SCISA schools. Thus, we feel confident in extending our 1:1 program. This will allow several of their books to be digital, reducing the weight of their book bags, as well as giving the students and teachers a 24/7 learning environment. The 1:1 Technology Initiative is just another way that Oakbrook is preparing students for success in an innovative, fast-paced, global world.

Key Changes- Migration to Chromebooks

This year, several teachers attended a technology conference and researched the benefits of Chromebooks over iPads. Several local districts have made the switch with great success! This Christmas, Oakbrook provided each teacher with a Chromebook to use in their classroom. The middle school teachers met multiple times and feel that a switch would reduce distractions, enhance research and word processing, and feel more "professional" than an iPad. Chromebooks are also much less expensive than iPads.

Our plan is to gradually phase in the Chromebooks starting with this year's 6th-grade class. The current 6th and 7th grade will continue to use the iPad until they exit middle school. However, if you feel that replacing the iPad with a Chromebook is best for your child, you are welcome to do so.

Nuts and Bolts

5th Grade will have access to school-owned ipads that can be checked out by teachers.

6th - WE ARE SWITCHING TO CHROMEBOOKS! Starting this year, we will begin to migrate away from iPads to parent purchased Chromebooks as our device of choice. With our teachers using Chromebooks and the full keyboard, we believe that this change will bring more consistency, less distraction and more meaningful use of the device. Please see below for the minimum standards to be mindful of when purchasing a chromebook. *They will continue with Chromebooks as they move up and you will not need to purchase an iPad.

7th -8th are grandfathered into the iPad program and are strongly encouraged to bring an ipad to class daily and some textbooks will be digital. We will be using this tool in class and developing activities and experiences that integrate the ipad camera, textbooks, and educational apps. We do understand that students develop at different rates and if you choose to have physical textbooks for your student, they will still receive a quality Oakbrook education but will be at a disadvantage during some class activities using ipads. Ipads will be the only devices allowed during instruction.

Minimum Standards

Last Thoughts

Our teachers will continue to remind students to use good habits when operating and storing their devices. We highly recommend sturdy protection cases and extended warranties that cover screen breakage. Also, please remind students at home to treat their devices with care so that they will serve them well throughout middle school!