By Sara Brown
This upcoming school year every student in the high school will receive an iPad.
“This kind of technology stimulates the students more and offers a better education,” Superintendent Dr. Paul Dakin said.
The iPads started last year exclusively with the freshmen class to see if they could integrate the iPads into the curriculum. Dakin said that from the “soft data” they have received from the year, the program appears a success.
“There were fewer absences and less disciplinary problems. One would assume if students are not missing class or goofing off, they are learning more,” the superintendent said. Time will tell if the iPads actually help—when school officials can study test scores like the MCAS.
The iPads were budgeted into the school year, however, the professional development the teachers received for them was from a grant the high school was rewarded.
“It’s because of our teachers that we have this program. They worked hard at the professional development training to learn how to give the students the highest degree of learning with these tools,” Dakin said.
The professional development was about flipped classrooms. Those are a form of blended learning in which students watch lectures online and work on problem sets with other students in class. This approach allows teachers to spend more time interacting with students instead of lecturing.
Dakin said the high school curriculum is all about “rigor, relevance and relationships” and that the iPads help with that. “We can get more out of our students with this tool; it also [connects them] to the real world, and also [helps] develop relationships with their teachers more, since they are actively working together and learning.”
Students are required to buy insurance for the iPads in case something happens to them.
“The iPad is like a book: If you lose or destroy, you pay,” Dakin said.
He explained, “Since it is expensive, insurance is required and worth it for everyone’s sake. We need the parents and students to help keep the iPads in the best possible shape and take responsibility for them.”
Dakin sees further down the road that the high school will only use iPads and will no longer need textbooks. “We are not there yet, but I can see it happening one day. I think the evolution is headed in that way. If this goes well, the first step would be not to buy the newest addition of textbooks,” Dakin said.
The administration will be keeping their eyes open to see if the iPads help further learning.
“We are not just putting them in their hands for the sake of it. If it doesn’t work then we will stop,” Dakin said.
Revere High School is one of the first high schools in the state to integrate iPads into their curriculum.
“I know Burlington High School is doing it but I haven’t heard of anyone else. We [are] out in front and doing it on a much deeper level,” Dakin said.
“We are just providing the best education experience we can offer,” he added.
Parents are reminded to go online to get an insurance policy for the iPads before they pick them up at the high school. To get a policy, go to my.worthhavegroup.com/ReverePS.
Parents must shown a photo ID upon registration and accompany their children in order to receive the iPad.
Next week’s iPad pick-up schedule at Revere High School Field house (rear of school) is as follows: Monday, August 19 (freshmen), 9 a.m. to noon; Tuesday, August 20 (sophomores), 9 a.m. – noon;, Wednesday, August 21 (juniors), 9 a.m. – noon; and Thursday, August 22, 9 a.m. – noon.