Today, I am pleased to announce that after eighteen months of extensive research, we are officially launching a 1:1 mobile learning initiative. Our new 1:1 iPad program is a major component of the school’s Connected Learning initiative. The launch of this exciting new program is made possible by a generous contribution from the Santa Barbara-based Mosher Foundation.
Connected Learning at Providence Hall brings together modern technology and software with a college preparatory curriculum founded on the Western tradition, taught using the best proven instructional modes in an environment that connects students with teachers and the subject matter.
Providing our talented faculty and motivated students with individual iPads, technology for active learning, collaborative furniture, and state-of-the-art infrastructure creates an environment where a student’s academic, personal, and social worlds converge. As a result, learning becomes continuous and extends far outside the classroom. We are excited about this opportunity to increase the level of engagement for every student. We will combine 21st century-technology and skills with our semi- classical liberal arts curriculum, holding firm to the ideas and pedagogical methods that have stood the scrutiny of time.
Providence Hall is a place of learning, not just for our students, but for everyone. We are an educational community that continuously seeks innovative ways to enhance learning and to increase joy and satisfaction in the educational process. No school knows their students like Providence Hall, and this increased level of interaction amongst our teachers and students provides a learning environment unique to Santa Barbara. We are excited to join with educators around the country who are placing cutting-edge technology in the hands of students, preparing them for the workplace of the future.
The program will use the 32GB version of the latest Apple iPad. All faculty are already using iPads to some extent in their teaching. Last summer, teachers serving on Providence Hall’s technology committee went to a professional development program specifically focused on 1:1 iPad programs. They came away enthused about the possibilities for using this new instructional tool.
“I believe the 1:1 iPad program at Providence Hall will positively transform the way I introduce new material, teach the steps involved in solving problems, and assess the comprehension of my students,” says mathematics teacher Laura Trudelle.
The new technology has many applications beyond math and science classes, according to humanities department chair Bruce Rottman. “The iPad is an amazing tool that will help me reach each student in new ways. I’ll be able to help students edit their papers while they write them at home. I can record lectures for students to review in the evening at home and devote classroom time to helping them one-on-one,” he says. “I’m looking forward to having students become even more engaged in the learning process. I can’t wait to integrate technology in our curriculum—it will be an exciting and unique adventure.”
The use of technology at Providence Hall goes beyond a 1:1 iPad program. Over the next nine months, Providence Hall educators will explore state-of-the-art technology with sophisticated educational applications in every discipline, online academic spaces for continued learning outside the school day, online course options, interactive displays in every classroom and common area, and electronic texts with visual elements that make words on a page come to life.
When the program officially launches in the 2013-2014 academic year, your student will lease an iPad from the school as part of the annual book and technology fee. The school will own the iPads and loan them to each student. Thanks to the Mosher Foundation, appropriate resources will be invested into the architecture of the school’s network and internet security to ensure a safe online environment for your student. In addition, each year your child will take seminar-classes on digital literacy and citizenship.
Our technology advisory committee, comprised of faculty, administrators, and local professionals, will provide strategic vision and expertise on the planning and execution of the Connected Learning initiative. The chair of the advisory committee, Dr. Reed Sheard, a Providence Hall parent and the vice president for college advancement and chief information officer for Westmont College said, “The aspect of this 1:1 program that excites me the most is the innovative way traditional instruction is integrated with highly personal technology. Too often parents are forced to choose between schools that are either teacher and student centric or technology focused. The 1:1 program at Providence Hall results in an approach to learning that leverages the strengths of both while clearly preparing students for real success after high school.”
I can imagine you have many questions at this time. For your convenience, we have put together an extensive iPad FAQ section on the school’s website. This information should answer most of your questions. I will be hosting an all-school meeting on Connected Learning and 1:1 iPads in late January or early February. The Connected Learning news section of the website will be updated regularly, keeping you fully informed and educated about our progress.
For more information about the iPad Program and Connected Learning, visit the Providence Hall Connected Learning website: www.providencehallsb.org/connected.
Head of School