Teachers use computers mostly for creating instructional materials, and fewer are using computers or tablets/apps with students in multimedia/presentations. The most common use of computers in the classroom is having students use Microsoft Office products. iLearn Schools believes that access to technology with Kindles, smart phones, tablets, smart boards, Forte Keyboards, or computers presents a real opportunity for widespread integration of technology into the curriculum, and that this will be the most important paradigm shift in K-12 education. Depending upon the technological improvements made, we can also expect another paradigm shift to be restructuring/reshaping schools. Schools will be redesigned from top to bottom, and traditional classrooms will not be as useful as once before.
This is also known as the backwards classroom or inverted classroom. There are also virtual schools or cyber-schools where institutions teach courses entirely or primarily through online methods. The invention of tablet computers was one of the most important milestones of technology integration in education. With tablets, educators can use many different apps for their instruction, and students can exercise handwriting skills via stylus digital pens. Using new and different ideas in education will always be needed, as the world is ever-changing.
Social networking is one of the most effective means of communication in the modern world; all iLearn Schools’ campuses are up-to-speed with social media in the form of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr accounts where the schools’ ongoing activities are clearly communicated with all stakeholders.
iLearn Schools uses SchoolReach to broadcast weekly voice messages that inform parents and staff concerning ongoing school activities and events. These messages are broadcasted instantly to the receivers’ mobile devices, and they are also posted on the school websites and on podcasts for convenience. Meanwhile, this system is also capable of sending messages via text, which is primarily utilized for school closings and openings when necessary.
iLearn Schools uses iContact, an email-marketing system, to advertise school events, with thousands of registered stakeholders’ email accounts.
At iLearn Schools, parents and staff are afforded the opportunity to use specific apps (AES and Class Dojo) to access student accounts and information. This program enables parents to access essential knowledge concerning their child’s academic performance and behavior on the go.
A Kiosk can be found at all of iLearn Schools’ school entrances, which is an advanced information system that enables visitors to electronically sign in and out of the building, as well as browse school communications, and even apply for our school online. This system sends automated emails to visitors regarding their feedback and opinion of their experience; these are then delivered to the school’s administrators.
iLearn Schools uses Apple Education Service’s student-management software, which grants parents access to their child’s attendance, grades, homework, behavior, etc. This system enables parents to remain informed of recent updates concerning their child(ren). iLearn Schools is also adopting a new learning management system, Schoology. Schoology will abet our digital learning experience, particularly at the high school level.
Future generations must be trained to hone their typing skills from an early age. This is just as important as students developing effective handwriting abilities at the K-3 level. The new state testing system, PARCC, requires all students in grades 3-12 to be tested using an online platform. With this new change to the testing system, even a 3rd grade student is expected to know how to type in the fastest and most accurate way possible.
iLearn Schools already purchased classroom sets of Forte keyboards for all K-3 schools, and students are provided 15-20 minutes of typing time in class daily. Our goal is to have our students discover “keyboard fluency” and the joy of writing.
To help digitalize instruction in the classrooms, iLearn Schools has purchased a set of Chromebooks for all middle school ELA and Math teachers. Chromebooks are designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, with most applications and data residing "in the cloud". iLearn Schools 4-8 grade level students are provided with safe school email accounts that can be used as Chromebook accounts as well. Chromebooks have also been proven to be convenient devices for PARCC testing.
To better prepare our students for the 21st century world, iLearn Schools started a one-to-one iPad education at Bergen Arts & Science Charter High School in 2011-2012. We were committed to providing each student and teacher with an iPad to use throughout the school year. To purchase the devices, we allocated funds within our existing budget by eliminating costly computer labs and deciding to forgo printed textbooks.
iLearn Schools has moved in the direction of using Kindles to allow for the tailored approach of ELA instruction to meet the needs of each student. Kindles allow for numbered pages, graphics, and a table of contents, just as a printed book appears. Kindles present many benefits and advantages; books may be downloaded and read anywhere, without an internet connection. Kindles are also portable. You can carry a whole library with hundreds of books with you, without worrying about their weight.