Friday, July 09, 2010

T-27 and Counting!

It's hard to believe that in 27 days our first group of students will be receiving their MacBooks. We've been working so long and hard on this, that the fact it is almost here escaped me. On August 5th, the high school seniors will receive their MacBooks. (Lucky them!) During the week of August 9th - 13th, 7th - 11th graders will receive their MacBooks. Our 6th graders will receive MacBooks the week of August 16th - 20th. In addition, all Junior High and Senior High students are required to have an iPod Touch or iPhone in class with them beginning August 9th.

We've been working on a number of things to prepare for this. For three days this summer, our faculty worked together on digital curriculum and learning one of our new tools, StudyWiz. StudyWiz is a virtual learning environment, similar to Moodle. One of the reasons we adopted this program rather than continue to use Moodle is that it integrates well with the mobile device. Groups of our faculty collaborated on a list of apps which is being required of our students for their mobile devices. This list is comprised mainly of free apps, although a few paid apps did make the list.

Additionally, we are holding Parent Sessions this summer which are providing an orientation to the tools for those parents who want that. We continue to post information on the iLearn portion of our website and the iLearn "blog."

More than the tools that are involved, I am most excited about the shift in learning that will happen on our campus.

The mission statement:

GAC's 2-to-1 Digital Learning Environment connects our GAC mission, learning environment, and students to the 21st century of creativity, innovation and collaboration.

The emphasis:

GAC students live in a complex and mobile world. They need skills that will allow them to collaborate, think critically and creatively, and gain confidence through learning choices. In constructing meaning through learning, students begin to develop an understanding of their value as God’s creation.

We are at the dawning of a new day, T-27 and counting!