This article was contributed by Higgins Middle School librarian and media specialist Sudi Smoller.
Excited teachers at Higgins Middle School spent their first day back learning about and using their new iPad computer.
Principal Todd Bucey said the roll-out was a kick-off to the school’s increased efforts to integrate technology and classroom learning. Additionally, Bucey said, putting the iPad technology in teachers’ hands now will help prepare them for the digital environment that will be available when the new Higgins opens in 2016.
“The more you are comfortable using the device, the more you will use it with our kids,” said Bucey.
Teachers signed for the computer when it was received and agreed to the Peabody Public Schools Acceptable Use Policy. The computers all have some foundational apps installed, including: iBooks, Google Drive, Notability and Evernote.
The school has several wireless hubs and there are plans to add more wireless hubs in other areas of the building, including grade seven upstairs and one grade eight hallway.
An overview of the computer’s features was presented by Peabody Public Schools Jr. Systems Manager Marc Leblanc. Teachers also watched a short film on using Evernote and used the tool to create school supply lists for their cluster.
Bucey modeled the use of Evernote and how to project from the iPad using the app Air Server. The app is installed on a computer connected to a video projector and may then be controlled wirelessly by the iPad, thereby eliminating the need for HDMI compatible projectors and Apple connector cords.
The school has 30 iPad tablets on carts that are available for check out by teachers to use with students in their classroom.