On Thursday, January 21st, several middle school teachers from District 109 had an opportunity to visit two school districts using iPads and Macbook Airs as their 1:1 device for teaching and learning. Berwyn South District 100 and Barrington Unit District 220 graciously welcomed our team from Deerfield on a visit to observe how seamlessly the iPads were regularly integrated into daily instruction. Our visit mainly focused on how a tablet device, such as the iPad, impacts the learning experience for students.
As a predominantly Chromebook 1:1 program, our teachers in Deerfield have expressed curiosity about how other school districts use technology with students. At Berwyn South and Barrington, we quickly noticed that students with iPads were producing, rather than consuming, a great deal of creative content. Students used various iPad apps to create digital presentations, screen recordings, and videos to showcase their learning.
The Deerfield team that attended these site visits represented a majority of all content areas in our middle schools: English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education and Foreign Language. Because the Chromebooks used by Deerfield students do not have a touch interface or video camera, many of our math, PE, and fine arts teachers have expressed concern that the Chromebooks have been a rather limiting device.
Our team will be sharing our observations with other teachers in District 109 as we explore the future 1:1 devices for Deerfield students. While no decisions have been made at this point, we are studying how a different device may impact the ways in which teachers instruct students and students demonstrate learning in the 21st-century classroom.
The video below showcases several highlights from our visit. Special thanks to Apple, Berwyn South District 100 and Barrington Unit District 220 for hosting our teachers!