Oakland Elementary School is getting 38 iPads, three iPads for every classroom, thanks to the combined efforts of the PTA, Royal Oak School District, and Oakland staff. This major endeavor represents a more than $15,000 investment in technology for the building.
In addition to the iPads, the wireless access system at Oakland Elementary School is being expanded, and each classroom is being equipped with ceiling mounted projectors and Apple TV receivers. Headphones and protective covers are being purchased for each iPad.
“Through this initiative, Oakland Elementary will have iPads in every classroom all day, every day” said Principal Gary van Staveren. “Our teachers felt it important to be able to use the technology for student learning according to a schedule that works best for their students and classroom.”
“iPads are a great learning tool,” said van Staveren. “They do not replace instruction, but rather supplement instruction.” The primary goal will be to focus the supplementation instruction on math and literacy then expand throughout the curriculum. iPads will be incorporated into literacy and math workshop stations in each classroom.
This past August, Oakland Elementary School representatives attended a presentation on “How iPads Can Influence Classroom Teaching.” More recently, teacher leaders were sent to Beacon Tree Elementary in Utica to observe their Kindergarten iPad program. Other staff members attended an iPads in the Classroom conference in Livonia. The teachers who attended the outside training then facilitated a professional development session for the staff at Oakland Elementary.
Principal van Staveren cited research that suggests iPads are able to increase student engagement and raise student motivation. In addition iPads can match the needs of individual students with individualized learning activities.
“We are excited about the iPad program at Oakland Elementary School,” said Shawn Lewis-Lakin, Superintendent of Schools in Royal Oak. “Over the last year, the district has made a significant investment in the Oakland Elementary School building. Working together, the PTA, the staff, and the students are now making a significant investment in moving instruction and instructional technology forward. There is a lot of positive energy and excitement in the building.” Noting that planning is underway to introduce iPads into the instruction at all elementary schools in Royal Oak, Lewis-Lakin stated, “Oakland Elementary is leading the way for the district.”