What’s Happening in One-to-One at District 211

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Students work in groups to familiarize themselves with their iPad devices.

Students work in groups to familiarize themselves with their iPad devices.

The scene looked similar in classrooms all over High School Township District 211 as students in the One-to-One Program began to delve into their studies and familiarize themselves with their iPad devices for class.

In classrooms such as Shawn McCusker’s, a social studies teacher at Fremd High School, familiarizing students with the iPad device and preparing them to navigate through their coursework was a priority during the first week of school.

“The challenge is to get students past the use of the iPad as a simple replacement for paper and pen,” McCusker said. “The best results happen once students have gotten comfortable with the devices and realize just how much more is possible with a connected tool for creation.”

McCusker’s approach is just one example of how he used simple group challenges, such as preparing a 20 to 30 second video about a classmate, navigating shortcuts on the device, and learn how to email attachments, to prepare his students for what he can do with the iPad devices during the duration of the course.

mccusker 2“When students realize that there are limitless ways to express learning and that they can share those expressions with others in the school and community things get exciting,” he said. “I have never had a student say, ‘wow that worksheet changed my life!’ But I have student giving me updates six months after an assignment is due because it has surpassed 5,000 views.  That never happened before.”

Below is an example of student work that was created in one of McCusker’s One-to-One sections last year. The video, to date, has received more than 6,000 views on YouTube, which has increased global collaboration for this student without having to leave the classroom.

The D211 Post will continue highlighting “Happenings in One-to-One” throughout the school year to showcase student work and innovative One-to-One Program teaching techniques.