Apple picks Barrington High School for research project

Barrington High School is among a select few schools in the country that will be part of an Apple Inc. technology research project next year.

Under the project announced by Barrington Area Unit District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris, the yearlong research will involve the high school's One to World program, which provides 11-inch MacBook Air laptop computers to all high school students. One to World, which started in 2014-15, allots iPads to all students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Harris said Barrington High will be one of 10 schools in the country in the research collaboration with Apple. District 220 was permitted to select one school for the project.

District 220 officials will decide on the research specifics.

"How this benefits our kids and student learning is, we're working with one of the top corporations in the world and their commitment to student learning," Harris said. "And we're right in the mix of their latest, greatest thinking and innovations going on."

Barrington High will work with Damian Bebell, a Boston College educational researcher whose work includes studying schools that provide computer laptops or notebooks to each student, known as a one-to-one program. Bebell is scheduled to visit the high school in early April as part of his research.

Matt Fuller, District 220's assistant superintendent for technology and innovation, said Bebell is a leading researcher on the effects of one-to-one device programs. Fuller and two other administrators recently attended an invitation-only conference at Apple's California headquarters.

"Our district gets to work directly with (Bebell) for a year," Fuller said at a District 220 school board session. "And we got to work with him very extensively over the 2½ days we were in Sunnyvale at Apple."

Fuller said District 220 will decide what to study regarding the MacBook Air laptop program at Barrington High.

"We're not researching their topic," he said. "We choose the research topic and we all benefit."

Bebell is involved in collaborative research on the computer device initiatives at public school systems in Boston and New York City, according to Boston College.

  Barrington Area Unit District 220 Assistant Superintendent for Technology and Innovation Matt Fuller, left, discusses collaborating on research with Apple Inc. Looking on is John Bruesch, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning. Bob Susnjara/
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