Neighborhood schools replacing textbooks with iPads

Episcopal School of Jacksonville is the third local private school in recent months to make an announcement regarding iPad technology on campus.
University Christian School became the first school in Northeast Florida to replace textbooks with iPads in February, when the Southside school announced its new partnership with Apple Learning Initiative. It will begin implementing the iPad program this fall. Bishop Kenny High School officials released word of its iPad transition in early summer.     Episcopal School of Jacksonville leaders said the move is “the next step in providing students with the best transition to colleges and universities,” according to a release. Faculty at Episcopal’s middle and upper schools will receive iPads for personal and professional use. The first year of implementation will be 2012-2013, which includes Apple workshops, faculty sharing and collaboration as well as in-house iPad training and support. This year, school leaders also will be researching and studying options for textbooks and e-books. iPads will be given to students during the 2013-2014 school year.
“Our faculty is energized by the opportunity to incorporate the iPad into daily classroom use and into the curricula! Everyone is looking forward to inspiring a greater level of interactive learning in our students, as well as providing them with the learning tools and methods they need to succeed in college and beyond,” said Pat Andrews, Director of Parent Relations at Episcopal.
Kate Pritchard, a long-time faculty member, will have the responsibility for training and assisting faculty with the iPad. Pat Andrews and Episcopal’s Technology Department  will be available for faculty support.
Episcopal was able to make the transition thanks to an anonymous gift made to the school this summer.
At Bishop Kenny, every student will begin using an iPad instead of traditional books beginning with the 2013-2014 school year.
School officials shared the news with the school’s 70-member faculty during a planning meeting this summer. In August, the school kicked off its pre-planning schedule by presenting each faculty member with a new iPad and the challenge of using the iPads during the 2012-2013 school year for learning and collaborating.
“Our administration and academic team is very excited about including the iPad as part of our academic program; there’s so much more to the story than just replacing traditional books with eBooks,” said Principal Todd Orlando. “The iPad is expected to be an invaluable tool that will enhance the excellent academic program that has been offered at Bishop Kenny for 60 years.  I believe that this technology will make the material all the more exciting and real for our students. It is compatible with technology that many of our students are using at home and will prepare them for what is already in place in colleges and universities.”
The school also is investing in upgrades to the infrastructure of the campus that are necessary to provide a secure wireless environment capable of supporting this technology. The 1200 or more iPads will be activated on the first day of school in August 2013.     University Christian School announced its iPad transition in February, and is expected to make more technology announcements soon.

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