Carroll ISD will begin deploying iPads to help students from kindergarten to fourth grade learn, beginning August for the 2019-20 school year, according to a presentation given during the Feb. 4 school board meeting.
Modern classrooms have access to more resources than previous decades, and this can include advanced technology, said Randy Stuart, CISD executive director for technology. These devices will be used to create a more active learning environment for students, providing them with easy access to up-to-date material on a wide range of topics.
Devices for seventh to 12th grade students were deployed in August.
“Learning isn’t limited to just the text,” Stuart said. “Information is readily available.”
The iPads for K-4th grade students will remain at school outside of school hours in one of 284 charging cabinets in 142 homeroom classrooms, according to the meeting agenda. Funds for the devices and charging cabinets were budgeted as part of the district’s 2017 bond program.
CISD school board members generally expressed their support of the program, and board President Sheri Mills said she wants parents to understand these iPads will be used strictly for education.
“Using devices for learning and enrichment that is appropriate, meaningful and empowering helps students to learn faster and more deeply than traditional teaching can,” Stuart said. “There’s a drastic difference in how the devices are used to help students learn in school and the time-wasting video games and social media that is common outside the classroom.”
Other changes for the upcoming 2019-20 school year include new options for dual-credit classes for students who wish to earn college credit while they are still in high school.
“We currently offer [dual-credit classes for] English, economics and government,” said Gina Peddy, CISD executive director for curriculum and instruction. “We are adding college algebra, sociology and public speaking, which is also considered speech.”
These courses, offered to 11th to 12th grade students, will be provided through Tarrant County Community College but will be taught at Carroll Senior High School, according to the meeting agenda.
“We are very excited about this opportunity,” Peddy said. “We feel like this will really benefit our kids, and we feel like this is giving some college credit to some students who might not have the opportunity if they chose not to take an [advanced placement]course.”