As society becomes more technologically advanced, institutions work to adapt to new forms of communication. For the 2015-2016 school year,the Academy’s transition to a one-to-one academic environment will continue.
The exact definition of one-to-one, according to Director of Information and Media Services, Mrs. Cat White, is “one student per one computer.” This year, the seventh graders have been a part of a pilot program in a one-to-one environment. Next year, grades eight and nine will be joining the transition. By the 2016-2017 school year, the entire Academy will be immersed in this one-to-one learning environment.
Gilmour’s one-to-one system will run on a “Bring-Your-Own-Device” premise. Incoming students and parents have been informed which devices and programs are suggested for the most productive one-to-one work environment. A complete list of suggested devices, required accessories, and software requirements for student devices can be found on gilmour.org under the “Technology” page within the “Academics” tab.
While most Upper School students already bring their personal devices to class, the Director of the Upper School, Mr. Jon Wanders, explains why it makes sense to capitalize on this trend. He said, “We want to make the use of technology in the classroom a continuation of the use of technology in your everyday life.”
We want to make the use of technology in the classroom a continuation of the use of technology in your everyday life. Jon Wanders
Having instant access to programs and the Internet is expected to help students learn by responsible use. While the Upper School prepares for classrooms of students with personal devices, educators will not only teach with technology but participate as well. White said, “Teachers will be given a new Microsoft Windows Surface Laptop/Tablet to use in and out of the classroom.”
After long discussions about the program and the seventh grade pilot, faculty members are confident the system will be executed very well. Gilmour’s English Department Chair and Instructor, Mr. Ryan Ryzner, said, “We can take the mistakes made during the implementation of similar programs at other schools and learn from those, along with the admitted initial struggles of the pilot program.” According to Ryzner, the Academy will make sure all required software is loaded on all devices, and teachers are given proper training for effective integration.