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Greenwich PS Begins Districtwide iPad Rollout with Professional Development

Connecticut's Greenwich Public Schools has started rolling out phase 1 of its digital learning initiative, a technology program whose aim is to help smooth the transition to Common Core State Standards and to facilitate a more personalized approach to learning.

As part of the rollout, the district is implementing a 1-to-1 Apple iPad program that will eventually go districtwide. For now, the district is targeting two of its elementary (K-5) schools — Riverside School, with about 520 students, and Hamilton Avenue School, with about 370 students — and will roll out the iPads to both faculty and staff. Prior to the initial rollout, however, teachers and staff are receiving professional development from education consultancy November Learning. The actual iPads are expected to be distributed this winter.

"We must transform teaching and learning in Greenwich to prepare our students to identify and solve tough problems, be they academic, economic, social, or political," said William S. McKersie, superintendent of schools, in a prepared statement. "Problem solving will depend more and more on an array of digital resources that are accessed by individuals and by teams. Greenwich students — to be ready to succeed in college and career — must be immersed in a school environment rich with teachers and learning opportunities drawing on digital tools. We are off to a strong start in Phase I. We have assembled a top-notch leadership team and developed an excellent management plan, including attention to accountability and evaluation. Rightly so, the first focus is on establishing a robust district-wide infrastructure and demonstrating in two diverse schools what digital learning can mean to student learning."

The district has already taken a number of preliminary steps for the wider rollout of the Digital Learning Environment initiative, including upgrading infrastructure and support, hiring a director of digital learning and technology, forming advisory groups, and piloting various technologies throughout schools. Management consultancy Improve LLC has been brought on to manage the overall effort.

More about Greenwich PS' digital learning initiative can be found on the district's site.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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