I am fortunate to teach within an environment that fosters exploration and implementation of technology tools and strategies that benefit student understanding of material. Teachers at Calvary Christian Academy are encouraged to try new tools and share the wealth of knowledge gained by the exploration of new tools. Administration distributes tools like iPads to groups of teachers to try out new tools and present their findings to the faculty at large.
The faculty at my school is very tech savvy – even those seasoned teachers among us. Typically, the younger, new teachers bring the new technology to bear on their lessons, but at CCA, every teacher is encouraged, by administration and by peers within the confines of each academic department, to experiment with new tools.
The down side to this progressive nature of our faculty is that, from time-to-time the faculty “out runs” the rest of the institution in the area of implementation of new technology and tools. IPads are a perfect example. In an effort to get it right the first time and to allow the greatest number of CCA families to benefit from their implementation on a 1-to-1 basis, administration has moved slowly towards that goal. Family finances are a heavy concern for the administration. Not wanting to over burden the family with five students in the school, we are working on a solution that will provide the technology to all students as inexpensively as possible. Meanwhile, faculty and staff are encouraged to find new, innovative ways to engage the students with the iPad in the classroom. Without class sets of hardware, this makes practical demonstration of the benefits of the technology very difficult. The barriers to implementation tend to be administrative.
The simplest solution to the loggerhead might be to ask parents to buy iPads with minimum memory, etc, and have fifty on hand to lease to families who can not afford to buy them outright.