About Mobile Learning

With our increased implementation of technology in our schools, our Administrative Technology Team has been working to strategically plan the most effective ways to integrate technology into the classrooms.  Our guiding compass throughout has been to employ educational technology tools that meet the varied needs of all of our students, enhance student learning and the educational experience, and foster the professional growth of our staff. 

A significant element of our recent work has been the exploration of a uniform, school-wide platform for the implementation of mobile devices in the classrooms.  Tablets and mobile devices provide and foster opportunities for flexibility, portability, and engagement.  Many possibilities exist for integration with apps, cloud-based solutions and Web 2.0 tools such as slideshows, podcasts, whiteboards, videos, and e-books.  The multi-media functionality provides forums for students to interface with text, images, and videos, as well as the vehicle for teachers to differentiate their instruction for all learners while also utilizing cross-disciplinary tools for executive functioning support.

2014-15:   6th-9th BYOiPad, 10th BYOD, and Google Apps for Education with Shared Models at the Elementary Level.

(coming soon)

2013-14 The Expansion of 8th iPad Initiative, 9th Grade BYOD, and 6th Nexus 10 Pilot

During the 2012-2013 academic year, the 8th grade Stars cluster were involved in a year long pilot with 1:1 iPad devices in their classrooms. With its tremendous success, the Administrative Technology Team decided  to expand these efforts to an entire 8th grade iPad initiative for the 2013-2014 school year.  The expansion could not have been possible without moving to a Bring Your Own iPad model in which families were asked to provide their own iPad as a way to assist with affording the cost of the 1:1 initiative. With BYOiPad model in place, the district was also committed to taking a measured approach before making a vertical commitment to one device or approach.  In addition, the 6th grade Koalas cluster piloted the Nexus 10 tablet for the year. The Nexus 10 tablet results demonstrated the need for a device to have great battery and connection performance, a strong quality app ecosystem and a system for installing paid apps directly to student devices. While we ran into these challenges with the Nexus 10 table, the experience for students and teachers was still considered beneficial and demonstrated the impact of having 1:1 mobile technology accessible in our classrooms.

While these technological advances offer many potential benefits to our curriculum and education here at Blake, at the heart of our work we are fully mindful that they do not 'replace' or serve as a substitute for excellent teaching.  Rather, our hope is that they will be a vehicle to enhance the practices that currently exist.  A key component of our work this year and the following with your students will be the modeling of the responsible use and implementation of technology, always keeping in mind the ethical and safety issues that are inherent in these endeavors.  It is also important to keep in mind that teachers and students will be following the same curriculum frameworks and will be following the same common core Blake curriculum as their peers in the other clusters.

I have highlighted links and attached several articles that I hope you will find to be helpful, as they demonstrate some of the considerations that we have in mind as we begin this expansion and pilot.

2012-13 Medfield 8th Grade 1:1 iPad Pilot
The iPad offers teachers and students a tool that is customizable, flexible and serves many purposes. Medfield Public Schools decided that this 2012-13 school year, Blake Middle School would launch a 1:1 iPad Pilot Program at the 8th grade level to see the impact of integrating technology with iPads. The Star Cluster was selected to immerse iPads into their instruction and student learning for 85 eighth graders. Each student (and teacher) received their own iPads to be utilized through their day as appropriate and to also take home each night.
As exciting as it is to have new technology like the iPad, thoughtful planning, exploration, and assessment has been necessary to implement it successfully. The pilot began with professional development (by EdTeach Teacher) over the summer for teachers to understand how the iPad shifts the pedagogy of instruction, the work flow, and assessment of student learning. This provided an important foundation in order to carefully consider choosing a set of ten 'starter' apps that would also work across all curriculum areas. Now that we are almost three months into the pilot, continued opportunities for professional development and frequent  and open feedback from parents and students have helped to guide us in identifying the benefits and challenges we've encountered at this point and how to improve and evaluate students' learning.
Much of the feedback asked us to share our knowledge and experience of 1:1 iPad integration with parents, teachers, and the community with the purpose of expanding support. Therefore, the Mobile Learning in Medfield website has been created to communicate information about apps, the how-to's, instructional practices, and strategies and tips to support students' use of iPads at school and home.
Follow our Journey as we move towards Mobile Learning in Medfield!