Boot camps offer fun with tablets

Jul. 25, 2013 @ 02:39 PM

Hey kids.  Don't forget about the boot camp at school next month. It could be fun.
The optional middle school tablet boot camps are part of the rollout of a $30 million Guilford County Schools technology initiative in middle schools to provide digital devices for nearly 17,000 students in the district’s 24 middle schools over the next two years. For the upcoming school year, all GCS  middle schools except Allen Jay, Brown Summit, Eastern, Kiser, Lincoln and Southern will get tablets.
Students attending 18 schools will spend the day in different learning modules with their teachers, said Jake Henry, supervisor of the tablet program. 
“We are offering sessions to provide an opportunity for students to get to know the tablets they will be using this school year,”  Henry said. “We want students to see the devices, learn about how they will be used in class, and to learn about how to care for them.  They will also receive information about digital citizenship and proper use of web-based resources.”
Among High Point area schools, Johnson Street Global Studies will offer the first boot camp on Aug. 2. Through July, as many as 900 teachers will take three days of training courses, according to the district’s rollout plan.
“If students do not attend, we will train them when they return to school,” Henry said.
Personalized learning, or PACE, is at the top of the list of goals for Superintendent Mo Green. He has pointed to Montlieu Elementary Academy of Technology as a model of what tablet-assisted learning can do to boost performance. Using a combination of grants from High Point University and other sources, Montlieu provided iPads to all teachers and students two years ago.
The PACE program also includes connectivity upgrades in several middle school buildings this summer for the tablets: Ferndale, Johnston Street, Southwest, Welborn, Jamestown and Penn-Griffin.
The district will buy or lease as many as 21,215 Amplify Android tablets. Amplify is a Brooklyn-based education technology company owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. District officials have said they plan to use about $16.4 million of the $30 million federal Race to the Top grant to cover the costs of the tablets and content. The total lease price for each tablet, which includes software and training, is $214.

Boot Camp Schedule
Aug. 2: Johnson Street Global Studies.
Aug. 12: Jamestown Middle
Aug. 13:  Penn-Griffin School of the Arts, Southwest Middle, and Welborn Middle.
Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided.
Information: 370-8190