Author: RWHill
• Monday, August 08th, 2011

Over 200 students to receive iPads at Dallas Christian

DCS ChargerTech initiative enters Phase II

iPads have already revolutionized the way we use computers.  Now they’re changing the way we teach and learn.

Every teacher at Dallas Christian School in Mesquite received an iPad in December as part of ChargerTech, a school-wide initiative to incorporate tablet computers into the classroom environment.  This week, DCS launches Phase II.

On Monday, August 8, at 7 p.m., every high school student at Dallas Christian School in Mesquite – more than 200 young people in all – will be given their own iPad2. Beginning on the first day of school, those students will weave use of the tablet device into their classroom, home-based and on-the-go learning experiences.

“This initiative will help our students prepare to live and work in a digital world,” says Dr. Colleen Netterville, president of Dallas Christian.  “We are diving into an area that will take our entire school fully into the 21st century.  The world is changing before our eyes, and we have to change with it.”

The initial distribution of 60 iPads to teachers was made possible by a gift from Texas entrepreneur and DCS alumnus Randy Hill (Class of ’86).  He has joined in helping DCS parents, friends, and alumni fund the purchase of the student units as well.

Hill believes Apple’s iPad and devices like it have the potential to revolutionize how teachers teach as well as how their students access their course work, notes and raw data from the Internet.

“We can’t keep giving our kids the kind of instruction I received in the 80’s, let alone giving it to them essentially in the way it was delivered in the 1880’s,” says Hill.  “I’m thrilled to be able to help DCS accomplish its goal of becoming a more innovative institution – a school that will get these students ready for the jobs they will want in the future, many of which don’t even exist right now.”

“From the very start, Randy has been the guiding force behind this initiative,” says Steve Bivins, vice president of Dallas Christian.  “We anticipate our entire campus will be utterly transformed by Randy’s gift.”

For the past eight months, teachers at DCS have been working with experts from Abilene Christian University, a recognized leader in the area of Mobile Learning, to prepare for complete integration of the iPad devices into the education process.

“Students at ACU are successfully using mobile learning as a part of their critical thinking and problem solving skill set,” says Dr. Billie McConnell, director of ACU’s K-12 Digital Learning Institute.  “It will be a true advantage for students in a high school setting to have this experience in and out of the classroom at such a pivotal age.”

Throughout the 2011-12 school year, DCS teachers and administrators will track how integration of iPads effects the classroom learning environment.  “It will be important for us to quantify our findings so we can build on the success of ChargerTech and, in so doing, better serve our students,” says Dr. Netterville.

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