Dodge City Public Schools, one of the largest districts in Kansas, currently supports more than 1,200 iPads for its student and teacher population. The district’s Board of Education recently voted to expand the initial deployment to 6,500 devices by 2014.
The district’s iPad initiative began more than a year ago with a handful of teachers using iPads in the classroom. Additional classrooms were added to the program every few months along with ongoing teacher, administrator, and parent training throughout the process.
In September, Ross Elementary School (a mere 2 1/2 miles from the famed Boot Hill and Gunsmoke Street) piloted the 1:1 initiative, with every student having access to an iPad.
“Everybody is really excited and keep asking daily when we get the iPads,” Amy Eakin, Assistant Principal at Ross said at a recent Board of Education meeting.
The school planned two separate after-school sessions in both Spanish and English so parents can explore the devices with some hands-on stations.
The current 1,200 iPads are distributed as follows: eight carts at the Dodge City Unified School District’s high school and middle schools and two carts at each of its elementary schools.
(Sign up for the free Tablets in Education newsleter for more news, trends, apps and advice)
More than a paper replacement
Like many districts, Dodge City reviewed their options before adopting tablet computers as the learning device of choice for their students. While saving time and money ranked high on the administration’s lists, it was the ability to use the tablets for real-time engagement that sold the District on the devices.
For example, teachers can plan curriculum for the upcoming six-week period using their iPad and then deliver student assessments online. While students take exams on an iPad or desktop computer, teachers track their accuracy in real-time on their iPads.
When exams are complete, teachers use a custom-made database developed using FileMaker software to filter test results across multiple variables such as areas of knowledge weaknesses and strengths.