iPads for all at Connecticut school

South Kent School announces that it has continued a new platform for curriculum delivery, including digital textbooks and media tools for the 2011-2012 school year, said Head of School Andrew Vadnais.

The launch continues the school’s previously announced commitment to adopt the use of cutting-edge technology and Apple’s iPad as a learning tool.

“We were thrilled to be able to provide all students and faculty with their own iPad this year to continue to move forward rapidly with this initiative,” Mr. Vadnais said. “This follows our 2010-2011 digital technology program that equipped the entire faculty and the students in our Digital Communications class with new iPads,” he said.

"South Kent School is the first prep school to adopt the Inkling platform across its entire student body," said Matt MacInnis, Founder and CEO of Inkling. "And we're thrilled that every student will benefit from having a more engaging, interactive way to learn with iPad."

Based in San Francisco, Inkling offers interactive learning content on iPad, creating an interactive, assessment-rich, collaborative, and multi-modal experience for students. Inkling textbooks are cheaper than their printed cousins and sold by the chapter.

The faculty at South Kent School are equally excited about the school’s commitment to adopting cutting edge technology.

“The iPad's power comes from its intuitive interface,” said Matthew Winkler, an English teacher at South Kent School. “Within a few seconds, students can shoot a video, edit it, and upload it from their iPad. The same device holds all their e-textbooks, handles their email, calendar, etc. And it's fun to use, so they actually use it,” he added.

“Our teachers have had extensive hours of training and academic preparation. Campus workshops are offered routinely and the faculty have full access to on-going support,” said Phil Darrin, Dean of Academic and Student Affairs at South Kent School. “This is an exciting time at South Kent School and our faculty is fully engaged and excited to be part of a digital platform of excellence,” he added.

South Kent School, which is moving ahead rapidly with the development of its new Center for Innovation, plans to make the iPad an integral part of its hands-on approach to learning.

“Students will be using the iPad to help monitor local water, soil, and atmospheric conditions,” said Michael Benjamin, Director of Sustainability at South Kent School. “Having access to the iPad and integrating it into a hands-on learning environment brings new possibilities, builds excitement for educators and allows students to be full participants in the ever-evolving educational technological age of the 21stcentury,” he added.

South Kent has also found a way to blend school traditions with technology. All new students at South Kent School have traditionally been required to memorize and recite the first fourteen lines of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Rather than using pen, paper and the printed page for this routine memorization, students are now using the iPad as a tool to master this requirement. The iPad’s video recording program transforms this traditional memorization drill into a fun and futuristic exercise, allowing the boys to more fully engage in this rote learning project by turning it into a high-tech learning adventure.

“I really enjoy the comfort and convenience and all the features of the iPad,” said 6thFormer Delano Williams. “But most of all I like it because it makes learning fun. Now studying is something I look forward to and going to class is like an adventure,” he said.