From Memberanda, Fall 2011
with Darren Burns
iPad technology allows Morristown-Beard to engage and connect in inspiring ways.
In an effort to inspire a sense of community and collaboration, Morristown-Beard School’s (NJ) adoption of school-wide iPad use has created new opportunities for teaching and learning. The iPad program was implemented for the entire school (grades 6 – 12), so that every student, teacher, and school member utilizes an iPad for daily projects, homework assignments, and downtime.
Throughout the campus, students can be found embedding videos to enhance their science lab reports, downloading apps to create their own art galleries, or challenging themselves with a virtual game of scrabble using the Words with Friends app.
While integrating technology on your school’s campus can be challenging, Morristown-Beard’s Head of Upper School, Darren Burns, explains why the effort was so effective for his school: “We have always been about collaboration and community, and our rollout has not been overly scripted. The technology is in its developmental stage, and we are developing with it. Our students are the first-line users, and teachers and students are learning together how it best enhances their learning goals and objectives.”
iPad technology allows Morristown-Beard to engage and connect in inspiring ways. Mutual trust and respect are at the cornerstone of this campuswide initiative, and no restrictions are placed on the use of the iPads. Taking a picture of a teacher’s notes on the board (instead of writing them) and synching the school calendar with a student’s individual homework calendar are just some of the techniques used to help students get organized and stay efficient.
In addition, providing students with a platform to be innovative is inspiring for any educator. Burns recalls a specific weekly highlight: “Students are highlighting apps at our weekly morning meetings. Last week, it was the QR reader app. Students created their own QR codes that connected to the school’s library database, and they demonstrated how an app like ‘leafsnap’ can be used as an electronic field guide for research in the sciences. Students are also working with our technology staff to learn about app development.” The use of iPads not only has encouraged responsibility and fostered learning, it has transformed relationships at Morristown-Beard by enhancing the way students and faculty communicate, create, inspire, teach, and learn.