For the past three years, Summit has had a 1:1 iPad program, asking students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades to obtain an iPad for use in classes. The goal is to expand the use of technology by students, and to provide opportunities to enhance collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creative skills.
During this time we have seen technology change rapidly. Now tablets of all kinds are available, and families often own multiple personal computers of differing operating systems, in addition to tablets and cell phones. Students will need to have technological skills that can translate to any platform. Therefore, our technology model needs to shift to meet this need.
Summit School of Ahwatukee is proud to announce that beginning in 2015 – 2016, the middle school will shift its 1:1 technology model to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Families will now have several options when deciding what form of personal technology each student should bring. This is manageable for us since each student will have access to Microsoft Office 365, which means that everyone – regardless of device or platform – will use Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and other Microsoft products to produce work. Cloud-based storage will provide a means for students and teachers to share work back and forth.
An Android, iOS, or Windows tablet will be acceptable, as will a Windows or Apple laptop. Devices will need browsing capability but will not need data plan agreements as students will use our Wi-Fi connections while at school. Students must use the network while at school to ensure compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act.
Cell phones will not be allowed as devices used in the classroom for educational purposes. Use of any device is subject to the Acceptable Use Agreement and its addendums, found in our Middle School Handbook, and is also subject to the guidelines established by the school and teacher for classroom management. Any inappropriate use will fall under the school’s discipline policy. Similar to other personally-owned items, the school is not liable for the loss, damage, misuse or theft of personally-owned devices. It is the responsibility of each family to provide adequate insurance for devices and to protect them with cases. In addition, Summit cannot provide technical support or install software on personally-owned devices.
In the fall, we will offer both student and parent “boot camps” to help your family understand how this device will be used in the classroom. Summit is excited to transition to the next stage of technology use in the middle school, and we are pleased to offer this opportunity for students to experience learning using the same devices they use to engage with their multimedia world, and to inspire learning while creating independent, critical thinkers.
Patrick O’Brien, Head of School
Summit School of Ahwatukee