Last spring, the Oak Lawn-Hometown District 123 Board of Education approved a technology purchase to afford our students a significant new opportunity in their learning experience. While the purchase itself focused on equipping students with technology, our initiative is much larger in scope.
We are working to partner technology with a culture of learning to build creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and problem solving. We are working through what we believe the new learning landscape means for our students, their learning, and their future.
This fall, we began our implementation by equipping each student in grades 5-8 with their own netbook running Linux. We also added a grade level cart of netbooks at each elementary building for grades 1-4 and an iPad cart at each elementary building for primary students. We also have 2 carts of MacBooks at each elementary building and 6 carts of MacBooks at the middle school for higher-end multimedia projects. I've written more about our device selection here and here.
While getting the devices into the hands of our students is a critical part of our initiative, it's not the most important. Now we embark upon the work of changing the learning experience for our students. We're only a month into that process, but we have already seen exciting and encouraging change taking place. We plan to share our story as it unfolds.
I believe the 5th grade student at the end of our first video says it all. He was asked, "How has the netbook changed your experience with learning?" His response was candid and entirely his own.
This is our beginning.