Learning at North Springs has never been more technologically advanced than it is this year. The most recent addition to the school’s learning system, the Microsoft Surface Pro tablets, provide students with new studying-based resources that were not accessible in the past. This includes Microsoft OneNote and Microsoft Office 365, applications that help organize and send work to teachers.
Instructional Technology Specialist Sallie Holloway states that the tablets were provided by Fulton County. “We want to give students more opportunities to collaborate, more access to resources and technology is a huge way to do that,” she says.
The Digital Citizenship program, a concept that helps student users understand how to use technology appropriately, was one of the requirements the school had to meet to receive the tablets. The program reinforced students to be more internet savvy. All of the Digital Citizenship work done in stages across several weeks in classrooms was submitted to the county to check how prepared the students were for the tablets.
Deployment of the devices had a smoother transition around the school than expected by administration. While some students are still having trouble with their tablets, the chaos predicted on the first day was minimum. “The only issue that we couldn’t foresee was how many devices would have trust issues,” explained Instructional Coach Lynnette Elliot, who contributed to the school’s deployment. “They sent us a group of technicians from the county to help us with that because it’s something that happens countywide.”
Although not all students received got their devices right away, 240 students got their tablets on the first day. “For a school this huge, that was great,” Elliot states.
Some students were quite hesitant in accepting their tablets into their academic work ethic at first, but since deployment students have ultimately gained a more positive outlook. “They’re okay,” says Junior Diaga Atcj. “I think they’re good because it helps everyone focus more and it really contributes to the class.” Although, some students are still facing some problems. “It’s a lot more trouble than it’s worth,” says Sophomore Kobi Wright. “I’ve had to go give my tablet like four or five times because it has trust issues.”
Despite this, many teachers and administrators believe that the tablets are an asset. “If you have technology, it allows you to access newer resources and software that gives instant feedback,” said Holloway.
Whether you’re a fan of the new tablets or not, it’s time to adjust to a new way of learning – digital learning.