DIGITAL LEARNING INITIATIVE
During the 2013-14 school year, Montini Catholic implemented a pilot tablet program in which 30 students and all faculty and staff received iPads and utilized this technology for selected courses. Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, each student and faculty member was issued an iPad to use in everyday learning.
We are dedicated to providing our students with the skills, tools, and experiences needed to succeed in today’s world. This new program better prepares our students for college and the exciting future that awaits.
This important step forward is the result of a great deal of research and planning that began four years ago. It quickly became clear that the iPad's ecosystem of apps, strong reputation within the education field, highly functional touchscreen, long battery life, and user-friendly interface most closely suit our students’ learning needs as well as our teachers’ instructional needs in the classroom.
All members of the faculty continue to receive training on the use of technology in the classroom. We have upgraded our infrastructure to support a robust campus-wide WiFi system capable of delivering high-speed internet access to the entire student body. We are completely confident that moving forward with this program is, without a doubt, the best decision for our students and for our school.
THE STUDENT EXPERIENCEThis is certainly exciting program that is having a positive impact on our students' experience at Montini. Surveys conducted at other schools with iPad programs have revealed that the vast majority of students believe they are more productive, classes are more engaging, they take better notes, and they believe that using an iPad in school has been an overall positive experience. While the advent of iPads in the classroom is something to celebrate, it is important to remember that an iPad is only a tool. It is not a magical solution for all the challenges of academic life. It will not complete your son’s or daughter's homework, nor will it read, analyze, digest, comprehend or make her/him think more critically about her/his studies. It is simply a tool that he can use to aid his efforts. The everyday hard work expected of our students will continue.
THE RESPONSIBLE USE OF FREEDOM
This program provides us an opportunity to teach our students more about what we already expect of them – the responsible use of freedom. In our DLI program, iPads are school-owned and issued to students with the expectations that they respect and care for the iPads as if they were their own. Students are allowed to use the device as they find helpful, but only in accordance with the school's acceptable use policy, and only insofar as they do not interfere with their active attention and participation in class.
In addition to lightening the load heavy backpacks put on the shoulders of our students, the use of digital textbooks opens possibilities for content delivery never possible with a hard copy textbook. Based on digital textbook adoptions, our families are also experiencing a significant cost savings with digital textbooks. Digital textbooks work amazingly well in some subject areas; however, we have found that they are less effective in others. While a majority of classes are moving to digital textbooks, we will adopt digital books on a class-by-class basis based on availability of content and efficacy of use.