In less than two weeks, 143,000 students will return to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Today, their teachers returned to the classroom to lay the foundation for a great school year. While many are hanging new signage and orchestrating lesson plans, some teachers are unpacking new technology for their classrooms.
This year, 420 teachers will debut iPads they received through CMS Innovation for Transformation Grants, awarded in May. Each of the grant recipients received a two-day training on iPad techniques and applications for the classroom. The trainings were conducted by Apple trainers, CMS instructional technology team members and expert teachers.
Rosie Clark is a Pre-K teacher at Whitewater Elementary. Her teaching team was awarded a grant to use iPads for literacy and reading instruction.
“The iPad is a more intuitive tool than a mouse with our students,” Clark said. “When we wrote the grant, we outlined a plan for several different learning styles.”
Though the iPad may be easy for a four-year-old to use, the teachers found that moving through the different apps and settings was not as intuitive to them.
“This is my first opportunity to use anything like this,” Clark said. “I received my iPad three weeks before the school year ended so I could become more familiar with it. The training was very useful. Now I know how to use it interactively. They are helping us be more efficient and use new tools.”
Susan Goeldner, an iPad trainer for the district, thought the trainings were very well-received by the teachers.“They have come away with an expansion of what they thought they could do with the iPad for instruction,” Goeldner said. “It was a great learning immersion for the teachers.”