About 600 students at New Trier High School will be using iPads in 15 different classes next year, under an expansion of the iPad pilot program that the school used this year.
The classes were chosen from more than 35 proposals made by teachers, said Chris Johnson, New Trier’s director of technology.
“These 15 proposals each represent important and distinct innovations [that] we need to continue to explore and that we believe will positively impact students,” Johnson in a memo to the school board. The proposals involve classes at all levels and across subject areas at the school, which has campuses in and .
Earlier: New Trier Plans iPad Project
While the classes that will use iPads will have a total of about 720 students, some students will be in two or more affected classes, so the district will only have to supply about 600 iPads to students.
Students will have a choice of being issued a district-owned iPad, with all necessary apps for their classes, a case and a keyboard, to be returned at the end of the year, for a non-refundable $60 insurance fee; having the necessary apps loaded onto their own iPads; or purchasing an iPad through the school for 75 percent of the district’s cost. Buying the iPads and accessories makes up the bulk of the $375,000 cost of the project, money that will come out of the technology budget.
Teachers who participated in pilot programs this year, especially one in which students were allowed to take their iPads home, lauded the device’s ability to connect students to the oustide world and to help them make their own connections. Some textbooks also are available as e-books for the iPad at greatly reduced prices, Johnson said.
Board members expressed approval of the project, but warned that the district should not get too attached to the iPads.
“The technology is changing so fast that what we are in love with today could be obsolete tomorrow,” said board member Patrick O’Donoghue.
Superintendent Linda Yonke acknowledged that the project, while greatly expanded, remains a pilot.
“It’s at a size that can help us decide if this is the way to go,” she said.