As we enter our second year of the iPad Initiative, we are expanding our take home to include all students Kindergarten through 5th Grade. The Home-School connection is an important one in all areas of our students' education, including through the use of technology.
Teaching our students as early as kindergarten how to manage their device is an important skill, from caring and charging it, to learning to regulate usage time. These are some of those 21st-century skills that we didn't have to learn while being students, ‘back in the 1900’s’ as my own children say.
We know as parents and teachers, there needs to be a balance between screen time and facetime, digital resources, and sitting down with a book. It is important to teach students that technology can work for them and not consume them. By allowing the devices to go home, we are teaching the students how to have the tool work for them. They can use it for organization, reminders, and in creation. Consistently, teachers are asking their students to "show us" they understand not just "tell us.” The iPad allows students to be the creators of their learning and demonstrate their knowledge.
We hope the iPad arriving home filled with photos and projects will be a conversation starter as much as a great picture that arrives in their folder or a classroom newsletter emailed describing the week’s activities. Adding the iPad as an additional learning tool among the books, pencils, and crayons will create another connection between the classroom and home and allow students another avenue to share their learning.