Digital learning: SISD deploys iPads to Hook Elementary

Autumn Owens Twitter @aowensETnews
Hook Elementary students were excited to receive their new iPad devices Tuesday morning.

Hook Elementary students, teachers and staff lined the hallways cheering as approximately 620 iPads were distributed Tuesday morning as part of the district’s iChampion initiative.

“The whole campus is excited,” said Stephanie Atchley, principal of Hook. “We feel really grateful to have a community and administration that supports us.”

After the iPads were handed out, teacher spent some time going over the ‘iPad Pledge,’ reading off the rules of using the devices in school and then personalizing them for each student.

“We’ve kind of designed a beginning activity to personalize the device. The students will take a picture of themselves and save it to the lock screen using an app called Skitch,” said Shelby Womack, Stephenville ISD’s director of technology. “So if an iPad gets misplaced or found in the hallway or something, then all you have to do is hit the home button and you see immediately whose device it is.”

SISD’s iChampion 1:1 initiative leverages the power and mobility of technology to create a personalized learning experience for students. Similar rollouts are planned for Gilbert Intermediate in fall 2016; Henderson Junior High in spring 2017; and Stephenville High School in fall 2017.

“We have great reporting systems. We have budget finance systems, we have payroll efficiencies and now we’re trying to make a step to make learning more efficient,” said Superintendent Matt Underwood.

Brianna Hodges, Stephenville ISD’s new digital learning integration specialist, helped teachers get acclimated to the devices in transferring their curriculum, content and best practices into the new medium of technology.

“I’m really excited about what that does for those third and fourth graders when they’re seniors in high school,” Hodges said. “This really is changing how they’re going to be successful for the rest of it and it’s so important to not let these kids slip through the cracks.”

Not only are students excited about the new devices, but teachers have shown their excitement and support as the district shifts into digital learning.

“It’s really exciting because you hope that teachers see where you’re going and get excited about it,” Womack said. “And the reality is, with Hook especially, we’ve got some fantastic teachers who are going to drive what this does because of what they want to do with it.”