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Edtech in Action: Implementing An iPad Pilot Program

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Edtech in Action is a new series of articles from attendees and speakers of Tech & Learning's events. Click here to learn more about these events and to apply to attend.

Where: Beebe Public School, Beebe, Arkansas

Initiative: iPad Pilot Program implementation

Beebe Public Schools serves approximately 3,500 students PK-12, and in the 2020-21 school year, the district will implement an iPad Pilot program for selected Kindergarten and first-grade classrooms. The pilot program will provide not only technology for students and teachers, but also specific strategies for effectively integrating the devices into the school’s current curriculum. 

In Act 1063 of 2017, the Arkansas Department of Elementary and Secondary Education implemented the Science of Reading and the Reading Initiative for Student Excellence (R.I.S.E)  initiative to promote effective reading instruction across the state. Through this initiative, teachers are changing instructional practices and strategies for incorporating scientific reading instruction into their classrooms. Therefore, a key focus of the iPad Pilot program will be to mesh the methods and approach of the R.I.S.E. initiative with the use of teacher and student iPads.    

“The Beebe School District strives to make every learning experience for our students meaningful,” says Dr. Chris Nail, Superintendent of Beebe Public Schools. “We feel like this technology initiative will engage our students and create a love of learning.”

We currently have 13 Kindergarten classrooms and 12 first-grade programs at our Early Childhood building. Our iPad Pilot Program will be implemented in six classrooms (three Kindergarten, three first-grade) next year. 

Throughout the year, we will conduct action research to determine how effective the use of student and teacher iPads can be on student outcomes. We will utilize the NWEA MAP assessment, which is taken three times per year, to gauge our students’ growth and determine how the teacher and student iPads impact instructional outcomes. 

In today’s world, children utilize technologies every day outside of the classroom. We want to bridge the gap between school and life by empowering our students with new and innovative technology practices that will expand their learning.

Holly Glover is School Improvement Specialist for Beebe Public Schools.

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