Our 1st venture to go 1:1 began in April 2010 when we rolled out 30 iPod touches to each ESL student at Wood Dale Junior High School. These devices were used by students for research, communication, productivity and references across the curriculum. "It helps me with words I don't know, and I can look stuff up on the Internet without having to go to the computer lab," - Wood Dale Junior High ESL Student
The successful use of these devices prompted an even further reaching goal for the future of Wood Dale School District and its students. We launched a 1:1 iPad initiative with our second grade students at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. Each second grade student was issued an iPad 2 to use throughout the school year. These devices traveled to and from school with the students and were used to facilitate their day to day learning and instruction. Students used these devices for research, organization, collaboration, and other 21st Century Learning skills.
In the winter of 2013, we piloted the use of Google Chromebooks with a fifth grade classroom. Each student was issued his/her own device to use at school and to be taken home for further learning. The students collaborated using Google Docs and interacted with their teacher through EdModo. Chromebooks helped students develop 21st century skills and take their learning beyond the walls of the classroom.
After a successful pilot, Chromebooks were purchased for all students in fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh grade and students in 8th grade English Language Arts for the 2013-14 school year.
In 2014-15, all of our students have mobile devices:
Curriculum Guiding Technology
Many times people in the education community approach Wood Dale School District with the basic question of “Why Chromebooks?” or “Why iPads?”. Rather than arguing for or against a device, we respond with an answer along the lines of “We did not base our decision simply on a technology product, but rather concentrated on how to best implement our district’s curriculum with technology being one of the resources to help us meet our learning goals.” Although WDSD7 is on the cutting edge of technology, we have never lost focus of our mission: “... to implement best practice instruction and provide learning experiences that encourage students to reach their full academic, social, emotional and physical potential within a safe, nurturing and accepting learning community.”
Notice there is nothing technology related in our mission statement. This is because we believe technology should be viewed as a resource to better assist a teacher’s learning objective. Our educators are using technology when it can provide an extra benefit to student learning and engagement.