Tag-Archive for ◊ iPads ◊

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.

Author: RWHill
• Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Today we continue our conversation about the power of iPads in the classroom. Since we began our project in December, more and more schools have caught on. Even the New York Times has noticed:


This article profiles some of the schools that are using iPads around the country. It notes:

“The iPads cost $750 apiece, and they are to be used in class and at home during the school year to replace textbooks, allow students to correspond with teachers and turn in papers and homework assignments, and preserve a record of student work in digital portfolios.’It allows us to extend the classroom beyond these four walls,’ said Larry Reiff, an English teacher at Roslyn who now posts all his course materials online.”

Exactly. The iPad means that the education process never stops. And that’s why we need more of them in our schools.

Author: RWHill
• Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Since our announcement last month at Dallas Christian School and our announcement this week at Abilene Christian School, people have asked about how the iPad might work in the classroom. Take a look at this link:


This website lists the various apps that are available and describes what all they can do. Want to help kids learn basic math? There is an app for it. Want help building lesson plans for elementary school social studies? There is an app for that, too. Want to teach languages? There is an app for that as well.

The iPad is literally a library of endless resources all right in front of the child on a computer screen. That’s why we’ve made this investment and that’s why we can’t wait to see the dividends in the future as our kids emerge better educated and better prepared for the workplace of tomorrow.

Author: RWHill
• Monday, January 24th, 2011

Abilene Christian Schools Launch Connect@ACS initiative
School to give iPads to 40 teachers and, by Fall 2011, to all high school students

It’s the start of a new era at Abilene Christian Schools. As part of the school’s Connect@ACS initiative, 40 Apple iPads will soon be in the hands of all staff on the ACS campus. In a ceremony this morning, the devices were distributed and faculty will begin collaborating and training with experts from Abilene Christian University to craft lesson plans that will incorporate use of the units in the classroom.

“This initiative will prepare our students for the intersection of learning while giving them tools to use that will equip them for the future,” says Craig Fisher, president of Abilene Christian Schools. “We are diving into an area that will take our students and our faculty – our entire school – fully into the 21st century, and we’re ready to make use of the most cutting-edge tools the market has to offer.”

The iPads are a gift from entrepreneur and long-time ACS supporter Randy Hill. Hill, who is also the father of an ACS student, believes Apple’s tablet device has the potential to revolutionize how teachers teach as well as how their students access their course work, notes and raw data from the Internet. Hill previously funded a similar project, ChargerTech, at Dallas Christian School.

“We can’t keep teaching kids the way I was taught and the way many adults learned their reading, writing and arithmetic, let alone giving them that instruction in the way it was delivered a century ago,” says Hill, who has just been named by Gov. Rick Perry to serve on the board of the state’s Emerging Technology Fund. “I’m thrilled to help ACS accomplish its goal of becoming a more innovative institution that can get these students ready for the jobs of the future – many of which don’t even exist right now. And I’m thrilled to do with Apple, which is a company that is always using new technology to solve old challenges.”

Plans call for all of Abilene Christian High School students to receive their own iPads in August 2011, at the start of the school year. iPad carts will be available across campus for use by students in PK-middle school as well.

Abilene Christian Schools’ partnership with ACU will give faculty access to the latest research and training in the ever-expanding world of mobile learning technology.

“We look forward to supporting the Connect@ACS initiative,” says Dr. Billie McConnell, director of ACU’s K-12 Digital Learning Institute. “Schools need to be developing their students’ critical thinking, communication and problem-solving skills. Making use of the latest digital tools is one of the most important ways they can accomplish their mission.

“At ACU, our students and faculty are immersed in the day-in-day-out process of adapting this technology to the classroom, and we’re succeeding. We look forward to sharing our experience with ACS,” says McConnell.

Hill’s company, APT Advanced Trailer, revolutionized the American peanut industry with its patented semi-trailer that procures (dries) and transports peanuts and various other agricultural products. In 2007 an Advanced Trailer was used to dry woodchips by researchers at the Herty Advanced Materials Development Center in Savannah, Ga. Since that time Advanced Trailer has provided funding and or equipment to a number of universities and companies for biomass and crop residue drying research. In 2009, Advanced Trailer announced that the University of Idaho had been selected as the recipient for funding related to biomass drying research. On Dec. 8, 2010, Hill received national headlines for funding the ChargerTech initiative at Dallas Christian School in Mesquite, Texas. The nation’s first K-12 school to implement use of Apple iPads in the classroom.

Author: RWHill
• Monday, January 24th, 2011

Last month we announced funding for an initiative to provide iPads for teachers at Dallas Christian School. Today, we’re announcing a similar initiative at Abilene Christian School.

We do so for two reasons. First, we believe in Christian education. We believe we need it and we believe it can make a difference in the life of a child.

Second, we believe technology is the key to unlocking the future. If teachers have iPads, teachers will teach better and children will learn more.

I’ll have more to say about this topic throughout the week. So stay tuned!

Author: RWHill
• Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Today we continue our series on New Year’s Resolutions. And one of my biggest resolutions in 2011 is to get more technology into the classroom.

As readers of this blog know, my family funded a grant to Dallas Christian Schools in December to help provide faculty and staff with iPads. That’s a great start. But it’s only one school. In 2011, we will be exploring the possibility of funding a similar grant at a different school. This will be our way of revolutionizing how our kids learn by revolutionizing the way we teach them.

Be looking for an announcement sometime in early 2011 about another grant of iPads for classrooms.

Author: RWHill
• Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Today we continue our series on the impact of technology in the classroom. Some people may wonder if computers make a difference. They do. But don’t take my word for it:


According to this scientific survey done a few years ago in Massachusetts, computers have a profound impact on the kids who use them. This is particularly true once they start taking standardized tests:

“Analyzing test performance and computer uses of 986 fourth grade students from 55 classrooms in nine Massachusetts school districts, the study found that the more regularly students use computers to write papers for school, the better they performed on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment Systems (MCAS) English/Language Arts exam.”
Simply put, the more kids use computers the better off they are. And that will be even more true with the newest generation of computers: iPads.

Author: RWHill
• Friday, December 17th, 2010

Earlier this year a movie hit theaters that could change our country. It was called “Waiting for Superman.” This documentary tells the story of five school children whose dreams will likely be derailed by schools that don’t teach and won’t change. What a travesty. Here is the link to the website where you can learn more about the film and the foundation that supported it:


But we can also start changing schools ourselves. After you watch the trailer or read the stories on the Waiting for Superman website, think about what you can do to change your school.

I know what I can do and what I am doing: finding schools that share my same vision of a true 21st Century education by helping teachers use 21st Century technology like iPads; a 21st Century education where teachers have the tools to teach better and kids learn better.

Author: RWHill
• Thursday, December 09th, 2010

Yesterday I announced that I was providing funding so that Dallas Christian School can offer iPads to all its teachers. I did so because I believe in education. More important, I did so because I believe education needs to change.

From now on, teachers at Dallas Christian will have the world at their fingertips. If they need to research something, or find a lesson plan or get advice from other teachers, they can do it all on their iPads. This will make Dallas Christian the leader when it comes to using technology in education. I’m not aware of any other secondary school doing this…but I predict others will follow.

Tomorrow I’ll talk more about what the future of education will look like and what we need to do to get there.