Claremore Daily Progress

Catoosa

May 12, 2012

The Apple: No longer just a gift for teachers

Catoosa Public Schools participate in Apple Blended Digital Learning Environment

CLAREMORE —  

Far beyond the once familiar smell of chalk dust and the sight of a blackboard in the classroom, students at Catoosa Public Schools are getting a different type of education.
They are a part of the Apple Blended Digital Learning Environment.
These students are learning with interactive tools like laptops and smart boards. 
Armed with Apple computers, each student in the sixth through ninth grade now has a new plan for success in education.
Beginning just a few short years ago, Catoosa administrators began laying the groundwork for the program that has quickly become a success.
The program began after community support for school bonds provided the opportunity and funding to move to the Apple computer systems, according to Superintendent Rick Kibbe.
First the teachers received desktop computers then the students received individual laptops.
Now the program is expanding and by the beginning of the next school year all students in grades six through 12 will have a laptop issued to them.
The sixth grade students do not take the computers home with them but use them throughout the school day.
All other students get the opportunity to take the computers home and it provides a greater learning experience, according to school officials.
Andrea Williams, Education Technology Instruction Specialist explained that the new curriculum will help meet the changing core curriculum standards and incorporated the technology resources of the future.
“We are building curriculum for our students that integrates the core curriculum,” Williams said.
The computers are bringing families closer together and provides a tool that can be used at home for students and parents, Kibbe said.
At school students are engaged and excited to use the tools that are now available to them, according to classroom teachers.
“We use a roadmap to research, it is research without frustration and it provides a way for students to learn without getting lost on random websites,” said Diane Walden, English teacher.

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