(For those new to the column, Forward Migration is our term for companies moving from Wintel machines to Macs — or at least adding or increasing the number of Macs they use. A Forward Migration Kit is an overview of Mac OS products for a particular occupation, such as photography, optometry, etc.)
new superintendent of schools Pedro Garcia, may prefer Wintel systems over Macs, but one prominent private school in the area doesn’t.
St. Paul Christian Academy has spent US$700,000 to buy an iBook for each student in grades 1-6, as well as each faculty member. They’ve also bought a printer for each student’s family, installed a wireless Internet access system and trained educators how to use the equipment in their classrooms.
The payoff they envision is the ability to weave technology seamlessly into everyday learning, according to a
by Jennifer Barnett in
”We want to create an environment where technology is a tool, a seamless tool, and not an event that happens on occasion,” Kenneth Cheeseman, head of the private elementary school, told the newspaper.
The school originally planned to buy a few desktop computers for each classroom, but that would have meant finding space for more desks and rewiring the whole school for Internet access, he added. Laptops and wireless Internet solved those problems, according to “The Tennessean.”
Giving each student a computer overcomes a key obstacle that teachers face in making technology a part of learning: setting up lesson plans that would allow for several children using one computer or for groups of students to rotate, Barnett added. Cheeseman told the newspaper that he doesn’t know of any other elementary school in Nashville where students have their own laptop computers. He said several other independent schools around the country have taken the step. Students at Harpeth Hall, an independent school for girls in Nashville, must buy their own laptops, the article adds.
Meanwhile, elementary students could be seen atop the Great Wall of China, sketching the structure on their iBook computers, according to an Apple Education
article. The students were from Hong Kong’s Shak Chung Shan Memorial Primary School and their Apple laptops drew lots of looks from tourists.
“A lot of people had never seen an iBook before, and kept asking us ‘What are these machines? They look colorful!” Eddie Lee Sai-wa, a teacher and team leader with Shak Chung Chan’s CyberArt 2000 Project, told Apple. “We ended up showing them how the iBooks work. In fact, our students almost spent more time explaining the technology than they did drawing. At one point, over 100 people were crowded around, watching … we were honored to the be the first to use iBooks in this historic place.”
The Far Eastern field trip was just the latest adventure enjoyed by Shak Chung Chan’s art students, all of whom are participating in a Mac-powered initiative. The school faculty purchased the iBooks with the help of a grant from the Hong Kong Quality Education Fund. Last year, a proposal to enhance the school’s art program through the acquisition of the iBook systems — one of over 2,500 funding requests submitted — caught the fancy of the Quality Education Fund’s administrative committee, according to the article.
“As soon as the first iBook was released, we saw its potential for improving students’ creativity,” Sai-wa told Apple. “With most painting programs on a PC, the art looks lifeless and dull … and there’s no difference between the work of Student A and Student B. Drawing on a Mac provides a completely new approach to art and the wireless technology lets kids be free to work anyplace they want. Plus, the battery life of an iBook is six hours, which is a must for us when we take the kids outside to study.”
Shak Chung Chan Primary School purchased 38 iBooks, each equipped with an AirPort Wireless Card and a Wacom pressure-sensitive drawing tablet and the Mac OS in Chinese. Eighteen AirPort Base Stations are placed around the school, including four units in the art room, four in the multifunction room, and three on the playground.
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