||Holy Trinity High School Prep has provided laptop resources in the classroom since 2009 using mobile laptop carts. Each year the curriculum has been enhanced and building blocks have been added. To ensure technology is used to its maximum potential in the classroom, Holy Trinity: An Episcopal School reviews the curriculum on a yearly basis, carefully analyzing trends in education and the workplace environments to make the best possible decisions regarding technology usage in the curriculum for the future.
Starting in the 2017-2018 school year, incoming fifth and sixth grade students will be purchasing laptops through the Holy Trinity: An Episcopal School Dell computer purchasing program. This program delivers an amazing value by proving a Windows-based laptop with all the software needed for use during the school year, including Microsoft Office 365. The laptops are owned and managed by the families and offer different length warranties serviced by Dell Computers. This allows families to decide what works best for them in managing their cost. This program will revolutionize the instruction throughout the institution, while developing 21st Century Learning Skills and providing the students with the background necessary for high school.
Holy Trinity is introducing the 1:1 program to provide students with differentiated instruction which is relevant, timely and engaging. The increased access to online resources and content will ensure teachers that students have reliable access to online resources and learning activities. The value of digital learning environments lies in the natural ability to learn anywhere, yet in a collaborative nature, available through the digital device. Increasing the use of technology will boost student engagement by helping teachers instruct in new ways, leading to an increase in learning and critical thinking skills.
The adoption of a 1:1 program allows teachers to focus on content as well as the development of 21st Century Skills, skills which prepare students for their future. Students will be presented with complex interdisciplinary questions which require students to use a combination of content knowledge and academic skills. Students will demonstrate their proficiency by exhibiting a mastery of the 3Rs (Reading, Writing and Arithmetic) as well as the 4Cs (Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration and Communication). Students are no longer expected to sit and listen, but now demonstrate and communicate their learning. The computer becomes another tool for learning, just as important as the pen and pencil, and the paper and book.
A common question: “Why not use tablets or other touch devices in our High School Prep?”
Tablets, like the IPad, were never meant to be computer replacements. Their primary function is for content consumption and they offer little support in creation abilities.
Microsoft products continue to be the standard for professionals; over 1 ½ billion people use Microsoft Office products. As we prepare our students for real-world applications, it is important that we use the tools that are and will continue to be used.
The cost of ownership of a tablet compared to a laptop over two or more years is clearly in favor of a laptop. The Dell laptops being offered in the program offer more computing resources for similar cost while offering Holy Trinity families the ability to purchase warranties that fit their budget.
Curriculum should be built based on the content being taught, not based on a hardware platform. Windows-based laptops provide the most cost effective solution by providing high software availability and content creation opportunity.