Flagler Schools strives daily to ensure their students are receiving an unrivaled education that will not only prepare them for future endeavors, but will also challenge them in a way that is as effective as it is fascinating and enjoyable. Despite tough economic hardships, students continue to have access to brand new 21st century learning environments equipped with tools that most other school districts simply do not offer. These tools are used to encourage students to grasp next level concepts while helping to inspire them to realize routine is not always the standard. We actually believe that the standard is, in fact, not the standard.
Aside from the above adequate resources provided, students have the ability to collaborate with other classmates on a school based level, allowing them to confront and resolve complex, challenged based projects, as a team, while absorbing crucial, lifelong techniques that will be used in and outside of the classroom… all while enjoying themselves and helping the environment. *whew*
It brings us great pleasure to be able to write the following paragraph. Hopefully, you will also share our excitement by the end of our tour. In October, sixth grade students at Belle Terre Elementary School were given the opportunity to go where no student in the district has gone before. We’re talking of course, about our 1:1 iPad Paperless Initiative. It most certainly is a sensitive topic amongst community members and school officials, that’s for sure, however, with the determination and perseverance of the IT staff, classroom instructors and the willingness of parents and students, our “what if” became a “this is unbelievable” practically over night. Our once two-student MacBook paperless pilot, using MacBooks, Interwrite Workspace and a Wacom Bamboo tablet , which exceeded all expectations, has rapidly /evolved into a 45-student completely digital, collaborative, PIE (paperless integrated environment). But wait, it gets better- keep reading.
Our objective for this program was to familiarize and establish a foundation between the students and their routine issued classwork / homework in a digital, paperless situation. We outlined the key ingredients it required to be more efficient and productive while students grasp a need and want for educational, technological elements. Students were trained on applications commonly found in industry leading, corporate environments, preparing them for entry level positions in their desired, professional careers at the age of twelve. By using our classrooms and next generation labs, we believe we have achieved a new mindset and excitement for our students, which will improve grades in all areas. So What exactly does this mean?
Well, we think it means if you create something that is fun, new and intoxicating, the impact it will have will only be positive. The work featured above is “typical” classwork that can be found on any given day by our iPad students. The amount of creativity and devotion poured into these “work sheets” is unimaginable. These examples were collected two-weeks after our pilot began. Students use digital styluses to handwrite their notes and - when done, organize and backup their content using district created network shares which are accessible to students wherever there is an internet connection. If a student does not have internet access at home, the required material is acquired before they leave school and uploaded upon arrival the following morning.
Based upon the monumental success C21 Paperless was able to produce, we’ve decided to expand our paperless program district wide. District IT staff have began in-depth training sessions to prepare two - four teachers from every school for this integration. We are very excited to be able to widen the scope of our paperless pilot and look forward to sharing this experience with our already remarkable Flagler students.