Fraser Public Schools hands out most iPads to students in Michigan
With a 5,000 iPad rollout freshly completed, students in Fraser Public Schools are becoming 21st century learners via access to their own mobile devices.
The District’s hefty 1:1 mobile device initiative, funded by the passing of the District’s $19.9 million bond in 2011, is the largest iPad deployment in Michigan and ranks in the top 15 largest K-12 iPad deployments in the world.
“Teachers can now leverage technology at the point of instruction rather than only having access to computers during the assigned computer lab time. Our teachers can customize each child’s educational plan to better meet the student’s learning needs in each content area,” said Dr. David Richards, Superintendent of Fraser Public Schools.
Students in Fraser Public Schools now have the opportunity to learn in classrooms that allow one-to-one access to iPads to support student learning for each child. Fraser’s goal: to offer a personalized learning experience for every student in the District.
“Though we have enjoyed a rich tradition of providing our students with a high quality education, as a community, a Board of Education, and staff, we realize that public schools are facing an unprecedented season of change,” said Dr. Richards. “Our drive in Fraser to redesign our School District comes from a realization that we must provide our students with customized educational experiences that will prepare them to be successful in today’s college and work environment.”
After the passing of the bond, a committee compromised of teachers from all grade levels and various disciplines, building administrators, central office administrators, and instructional technology consultants met for an entire year to redesign the District’s learning environment, align instructional strategies with a rigorous curriculum, and select the best instructional technology tool for students and staff.
“Today’s classrooms must meet the needs of the diverse group of students who come to our schools, and Fraser is working hard to redefine the learning environment in order to meet the needs of all students through the best use and leveraging of technology,” said Ms. Carrie Wozniak, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction for Fraser Public Schools.
In a Fraser 21st century classroom, teachers use mobile devices to create flexible learning opportunities for all students. The deployment, which began at the elementary level in the fall, provides classroom sets of iPads for students in grades DK-2 and individual iPads for each student in grades 3-12. In addition to student technology, teachers and administrators also received new devices, which include MacBook Pro laptops and iPads, at the end of last school year.
“Though you will recognize the blending of our traditional offerings with the infusion of new digital offerings, our focus is not on the technology. Rather, we have a laser focus on student learning and increasing student achievement,” said Richards. “We believe that student learning drives the innovations that we are making within our School District.”
The District added a new 21st Century Literacy course this school year, a new curriculum for the 21st century learner.
The teachers of this new curriculum will be leaders in each building to assist both teaching staff and students to better understand the technology tools available to them and will work with teachers to integrate these tools into the curriculum.
“As our District moves forward with our redesign efforts, our needs are also changing with regards to instructional technology support for our staff and students,” said Mrs. Kris Young, Director of Educational Technology and Information Systems for Fraser Public Schools.
Technology support models have been put in place District-wide to ensure that Fraser staff has the support they need to ensure success for all Fraser students. Support is available at both a building and District level. Additionally, Apple trainers have been working with the District by providing professional development to staff members. The student device deployment, which began in September, was strategically completed in three months time.
“We could not be where we are without our incredible team. Our District’s technology team, 21st century teachers, media techs, teachers, students, parents and community members…it takes an entire team to accomplish something tremendous like this,” said Young.