Originally published in The Weekly Packet, June 5, 2014
George Stevens Academy to join laptop initiative
Beginning in September, George Stevens Academy will participate in the MLTI (Maine Learning Technology Initiative) 1:1 program. Every GSA student and teacher will be given a new MacBook Air to use at school and at home; the academy announced in a press release. (GSA will retain ownership of the equipment, and users will agree to the school’s “appropriate use” technology policy.)
In joining the MLTI initiative, GSA not only looks to improve students’ computer skills, but encourages teachers’ professional development to better integrate technology into classroom instruction and make “digital citizenship” a feature of the curriculum school-wide, according to the release.
“We’re really excited to launch this program,” said Larry Gray, technology coordinator at GSA, “In the past, we’ve relied on classroom computer carts with a limited number of laptops for our students. Now all students as well as teachers will have access to technology both in the classroom and outside of school.”
“This is a very big and exciting step for George Stevens Academy,” said GSA Head of School Paul Perkinson. “We are committed to each student’s success in every area of endeavor, and that includes preparing students for college or for a work force that increasingly expects sophisticated computer skills. Having a technology-rich learning environment will further support our commitment to individualized student learning. Laptops for every student will enable them to conduct research, download readings, creatively work in groups, write papers, and produce multimedia projects—not just during school hours, but anytime and anywhere. We are looking to expand our repertoire of teaching and learning strategies in every classroom as we challenge our students to create, think, design, and author academic and artistic works. We will be partnering with our 1:1 sending schools so that each incoming student will make a smooth transition from 8th to 9th grade.”
GSA will provide several professional development activities later in the summer and throughout the year for teachers as they plan classes for a more technology-equipped cohort of students. Families of GSA students can expect more information about the program in back-to-school mailings over the summer.