After a very successful pilot program in the sixth grade in 2009-2010, Hawken's One-to-One Tablet Computer Program expanded to the entire middle school for the 2010-2011 school year, and then to the Upper School for the 2012-2013 academic year. The program is designed to promote real-world skills, collaborative learning, optimal use of class time, teacher effectiveness, and student understanding.
Viewed as a “game-changer” when it comes to educational best practices, the tablet program promotes a more effective and engaging learning environment for both teachers and students. The opportunities for meaningful learning and assessment have increase dramatically with the use of this cutting edge tool, helping to breed fluency, competency, responsibility, independence, and ownership among our students.
What are Tablet Computers?
• Tablet computers are simply laptops with additional features, such as a pressure-sensitive screen and a stylus, which allow the user to write or draw directly on the screen – with all of the advantages of working with electronic files, including duplicating, sharing, editing, and publishing.
• The one-to-one student to computer ratio promotes fluency with technology, engagement and creativity, and the degree to which learning can be monitored and understood by both teachers and students.
• The use of tablet computers, in particular, promotes a very natural implementation of technology, one where the benefits of computers extend to the sciences, languages, arts – domains that are underserved without a writing utensil. Writing Chinese characters or complex chemical formulas, for example, is possible with the use of a stylus.
Computer Programs to Enhance Learning
• Students utilize a computer program called Microsoft OneNote, providing each student an electronic notebook of class materials for each class, shared with teacher and synced to the server. Not only does this system help students to be better organized, but also more productive and more creative.
• Also in use is a program called DyKnow for displaying student work, sharing screens, and monitoring student computers. In science, students are using an electronic textbook that includes live links to an amazing array of resources.