We are really excited about our iLearn initiative which we are starting at Alabama Christian Academy. The iLearn initiative will allow for every classroom to have interactive technology. This includes SmartTechnology in every elementary classroom within three years. Middle School and High School teachers have received mounted classroom projectors and an iPad 2 during inservice on August 5th. This technology, on all levels, will enable us to integrate interactive technology into every classroom.
SMART Board and SMART Table technology in our elementary will allow for an interactive, manipulative, digital learning environment. Students will be able to use technology in a safe, supervised manner which will enhance ICE (Images, Connections, and Experiences) capabilities at this level. ICE is a concept used in instruction from Dr. Tim Elmore’s book, “Habitutes”.
ACA is the first school, private or public, in the River Region area to begin a 1:1 iPad initiative, and one of the first in the entire southeastern United States. That is, each member of our student body, grades 7-12, will be educated with the assistance of his/her own iPad beginning in the fall of 2012. These iPads will be used throughout the curriculum as an invaluable learning tool. This is the first step toward ACA becoming an iPad school, a learning environment in which students and teachers have 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week access to the tools and resources of the 21st Century classroom. Director of Instructional Technology, Jan Lowery, will be facilitating the iLearn initiative, by working with administration, faculty, and students so that the transition interactive technology is as seamless as possible.
ACA has been preparing for this exciting initiative for many years. Technology Coordinator Rob Lyle has put the infrastructure in place so that this type of initiative is possible. Over the past two years, ACA has become a wireless campus and we are currently increasing our bandwidth to 50 mbs. This next year, our teachers will be involved in an intensive faculty professional development program that enables them to engage students in learning in a truly digital environment. We are very aware that students in the 21st Century learn most comfortably and enthusiastically when they are able to access, analyze, and synthesize information using digital tools. Our iLearn initiative is the needed step toward helping our students achieve and be successful in a fully digital learning environment.
To make this possible, Alabama Christian is contracting with Apple, Inc. to set up a lease-to-purchase program for each member of our student body, grades 7-12. By means of this program, each of these students in the Fall of 2012 will acquire, through ACA, the school-assigned iPad which will become the standard for every ACA student grades 7-12. Apple has offered ACA lease terms that will make it possible for our families to acquire this wonderful learning tool and all the needed software applications (along with 3 years of hardware and software assurances, software support, and an additional insurance policy covering accidental damage and theft) at a price that is unavailable elsewhere. Soon we will be posting more information about this exciting initiative on the ACA website, www.alabamachristian.com.
It is our desire that the iLearn initiative will benefit the students at ACA as they move into the digital world in which we live.