How CRCS Students Use iPads
At Cuba-Rushford we are set up to provide equality and excellence in education. iPads are tools in the students hands. They help us become better learners. This is more effective when lead by teachers, parents and peers. iPads act as a lever to improve student learning. This also requires good instruction and content. We are preparing our students for computer based testing (CBT) by allowing them to be comfortable with computer based learning (CBL). As young leaders our students are using iPads to improve their communication skills and develop into better leaders. All these activities are improving our equality and excellence of education.
When a struggling student was asked why he was doing better recently, he answered, “I am doing better because I was given an iPad to use.” When asked further why that made a difference, he answered, “before the iPad I rarely did my homework. Now I don’t mind doing my homework, so I am doing better in my classes.” When an honor student was asked about the advantages of the iPad he replied “It has been a great tool for me to better understand the information I need to know for classes. It also has allowed me to learn more about subjects I am personally interested in. It is so easy to swipe, learn and organize information. I don’t need to jam textbooks and three ring binders in my back pack every night.”
According to Ken Slentz of the NYS P-12 Education Committee, computer based testing will begin during the 2014-15 school year and the transition plan to that is being developed now. Early adopters of CBT have found that students that had not been prepared by doing computer based learning saw drops in their test scores by as much as 30%. Computer based learning becomes important so our students are just as comfortable sharing their answers with iPads or other devices as they are with paper and pencil. This will allow them to do as well or better when tested on computers verses paper and pencil tests of the same difficulty.
Good leaders are people who are good at helping others become leaders. That is often related to level and quality of communication skills. The amount of communication that is possible with these devices is amazing and often times scary. The content of student communication is where leadership at all levels becomes extremely important. The district, building, classroom and household leadership is the guidance our students require to refine their communication skills. It is our responsibility to help each other use our skills for good. If you are a parent, how many “likes” did you get on your last communication? Ask your son or daughter the same question. I would gamble in many cases they will be able to tell you how many likes they usually get off the top of their head and they will be proud of their highest number of likes.
So as we work with our students and staff to use these tools, we see the importance of good leadership. It is clear that computer based learning is helping them prepare for computer based testing. We are starting to learn about the new levels of communication that are possible. We hope you will share in our excitment about how well the students at CRCS are learning to use the digital devices that they are trusted with.