Friday, February 22, 2013

iMHS - Here We Go!

Over the past few weeks we have been surveying our parents for their input as the Board of Trustees finalized the school’s Strategic Technology Initiative. The plan, when fully implemented, will provide for one device (computer or tablet) for each student in the school.

This past year, all seniors and their teachers received a MacBook Air for their use (at home and school) as part of a pilot program. The program provided valuable insight that helped craft the school’s initiative. It also provided information as to the school’s readiness for a 1:1 program with regard to its infrastructure, as well as, the instructional expertise of the faculty in their use of technology.

Using the results of the surveys, the findings from the pilot program, and extensive research from other MAIS schools and technology consultants, the Board of Trustees voted to proceed and implement the plan at their January 2013 meeting. The plan will be phased in over the next few years. The full plan is available at the school and will soon be posted on the school’s website

We are excited to partner with Apple in our endeavor. Apple believes in creating products that enrich learner’s lives and help K-12 education achieve its goals for teacher effectiveness, college and career readiness and student achievement. These goals include national efforts such as the Common Core State Standards. These standards have been adopted by 47 states including Mississippi for English Language Arts and Mathematics. These standards emphasize that technological skills and information literacy in the digital age should not be taught separately, but rather be deeply integrated into the educational experience across all subject areas. We agree that the best technology should seamlessly connect the learner with what they are expected to learn. When a student is engaged in learning or creating, technological fluency happens as a by-product.

We know that to transform learning, we must develop a culture of collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. Today’s learners need to work collaboratively and communicate in meaningful ways to reach a shared goal. They need to develop critical thinking skills that apply their understanding of content and empower them to solve today’s challenges. A big part of developing global learners is to provide an environment with access to a range of devices and content that complement creative learning.

This is an exciting time for MHS and provides further evidence that Magnolia Heights is striving to provide your child with the best college preparatory education available. Although no computer will ever replace teachers and parents as the primary instructional leaders, our students need access to technology to keep pace in an ever changing global landscape. This strategic initiative will provide the blueprint to do just that.