The scene looked similar in classrooms all over Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 as students in the One-to-One Program began to delve into their studies and familiarize themselves with their iPad devices.
In classrooms such as those of Shawn McCusker, a social studies teacher at Fremd High School, familiarizing students with the iPad and preparing them to navigate through their coursework on it was a priority during the first week of school.
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"The challenge is to get students past the use of the iPad as a simple replacement for paper and pen," McCusker said. "The best results happen once students have gotten comfortable with the devices and realize just how much more is possible with a connected tool for creation."
McCusker' used simple group challenges, such as preparing a 20 to 30 second video about a classmate, navigating shortcuts on the device, and learning how to email attachments, to prepare his students for what they can do with the devices during the duration of the course.
"When students realize that there are limitless ways to express learning and that they can share those expressions with others in the school and community things get exciting," he said. "I have never had a student say, 'Wow that work sheet changed my life!' But I have students giving me updates six months after an assignment is due because it has surpassed 5,000 views (on the Internet). That never happened before."
A video created in one of McCusker's One-to-One sections last year has received more than 6,000 views on YouTube.