A Digital Learning Initiative
Independent Learning Environments And Responsible Networking
What is iLEARN?
It is an acronym that stands for Independent Learning, Environments, And Responsible Networking. It is the evolving vision for teaching and learning being supported through technology at Methacton High School. iLEARN is an opportunity to enhance instructional strategies and resources for continued growth of lifelong learners in our educational community. iLEARN is grounded in supporting 21st Century and STEM skills and concepts in teaching and learning: Creativity, Communication, Collaboration, Citizenship, and Critical thinking.
Why was iLEARN developed?
It stems from the Methacton School District’s Vision, Mission, and Shared Belief Statements created as a living document in Strategic Planning five years ago. Our District Mission reads,
“The Vision of the Methacton School District is to prepare graduates to thrive in an increasingly complex world and contribute as productive members of society.”
The keywords for this initiative are in bold. We are preparing our students for this complex and ever changing world and want them to be contributors.
iLEARN will help to provide students experience with some of those tools. Methacton’s Shared Values equal opportunity for growth, addressing individual learning needs, and using state-of-the-art and emerging technology.
How did iLEARN come about?
The concept of iLEARN is the product of many small steps the district has taken in the recent past. It all started two years ago when we went to a district-wide wireless platform. That project allowed for the use of mobile devices in classrooms, thereby creating flexible learning spaces. Shortly thereafter, we instituted student network accounts. This provided the district the ability to offer age-appropriate content and resources to our students and set the foundation for other projects. Now that we had the wireless infrastructure and student network accounts, we commenced other projects such as: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), Google Apps for Education (GAFE), and reimagine our facilities to make them more flexible learning spaces. Moving forward our goals are to institute an iLEARN – 1:1 Chromebook initiative, continue to reimagine our facilities, and provide targeted professional development by leveraging the BrightBytes survey data. Lastly, we will be establishing a Student Advisory Council (SAC) to act as a sounding board to ensure we are getting student feedback along the way.
2015-16 iLEARN - 1:1 Chromebook Pilot
October 20th 2015 - Parent Presentation: Click to Download
What is the 2015-16 iLEARN - 1:1 Chromebook Pilot?
The iLEARN - 1:1 Chromebook pilot is intended to provide us with an opportunity to identify, design, and implement the supports required to potentially expand this model in the district. We have selected only 170 students for the 2015-16 school year. This includes four (4) teachers across core areas (Math, English, Social Studies, and Science) and only two (2) sections or classes for each teacher. The courses include students from each academic level (Academic, Honors, and AP) and are across all four (4) grade levels (9-12). Each of these students will be assigned a personal Chromebook just as they would be a textbook. Parents/Students will have the OPTION for these Chromebooks to be accessible to the students 24/7 to extend and support learning outside the classroom and even outside the school.
What are the intended Outcomes/Benefits of the 2015-16 iLEARN - 1:1 Chromebook Pilot?
- Provide an opportunity for increased student achievement and growth
- Afford greater differentiation to support student-centered learning
- Promote collaboration, communication, higher levels of thinking, and project-based learning
- Provide an opportunity for increased student engagement
- Provide integration of online resources (Google Translate, Evernote, etc.)
- Allow for asynchronous & synchronous collaboration in and out of school
Do parents/guardians have any responsibility for the Chromebook?
As stated above we sent home a parent letter that required you to decide between two options of responsibility.
This option will allow your child to bring the device home every day to provide 24/7 access. With that, you accept responsibility for the Chromebook. That means that the Chromebook will be treated the same way as any other instructional resource, for example a textbook. If the Chromebook is lost, stolen, or damaged due to negligence the replacement/repair cost of the unit will become an obligation to be paid by the parent/student. Obligations are defined in our student handbook and basically are the monetary equivalent of an item that belongs to the school/district and has not been returned, such as a book, uniform, parking fine, overdue library book. Failure to pay an obligation can result in a student being prohibited from attending extracurricular events, registering a car to park their senior year, or in extreme circumstances, prohibit participation in commencement exercises.
Important: Students will be assigned a personal Chromebook, charger, and a protective case only if the parent letter has been signed and returned to the teacher.
This option will provide a Chromebook to your child during the school day only; it will not be permitted to come home. He/she will be required to pick it up in the morning and drop it off before leaving school. This option is designed to limit the exposure of the unit to inadvertent damage. If the Chromebook is lost, stolen, or damaged due to negligence during the school day, the replacement/repair cost of the unit would still become an obligation to be paid by the parent/student.
Important: Students that do not turn in the letter will be assigned a Chromebook for use only in that classroom.
It is important that the student come to school each day with the Chromebook fully charged. This will provide approx. 9 hours of battery life
How is technology support being provided?
Repairs may be needed because, as we know, technology sometimes fails us. In the event that a student or teacher is not able to “fix” an issue, or if the damage is physical and observable like a crack, obvious drop, a spill, or other marking, the student should take the unit to the location specified by the teacher when the unit was assigned. There, the student’s name and serial number of the broken unit will be logged along with the serial number of the loaner unit. The student will use the loaner unit until notified that the repair is complete. All repairs will be facilitated by the district’s Technology Department. Please be aware that if a unit is stolen or damaged by another party, this must be reported immediately to law enforcement (if out of school hours) or a building administrator (if during school). Students may sign up for a locker in a location of their choice to provide a secure place for storage. All students are assigned a locker and a lock for PE. These lockers have never been broken into. Items are typically stolen because they are not secured.
How will the Chromebook function at home?
- will not be enabled to allow remote access
- will be filtered using the district’s web content filter
- are Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) compliant
- student will have same online experience (filtered) at home and at school
- are only accessible using district issued network accounts
- can be connected to home wireless routers
- can be used in offline mode when wireless connectivity is not available
We thank you for your partnership in this endeavor!
As our Mission Statement says:
“The Methacton School District, with its strong tradition of excellence, will challenge all students to achieve their greatest potential and create a vibrant community of learners who appreciate diversity and will lead and succeed in a dynamic global society.”
As a community, we “Believe[s] education is the shared responsibility of the student, school, family, and community.” With your help, we will live our motto of “Learn, Lead, Succeed — Together.”