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Detroit academy to launch new classroom initiative

Principal Damon Pitt COURTESY PHOTO

Principal Damon Pitt
COURTESY PHOTO

iPads to replace books at local campuses

DETROIT — Textbooks will soon become a thing of the past in classrooms at a community charter school.

Michigan Technical Academy (MTA) has announced that about 1,100 of its kindergarten through eighth grade students at Detroit and Redford campuses will receive iPad electronic tablets for use in all their academic courses, beginning in the fall 2013 semester. As part of MTA’s One-to-One iPad program, administrators invested over a half-million dollars to move the curriculum in a direction that reflects the school’s teaching goals.

“MTA is committed to resolving the pervasive ‘digital divide’ between city and suburban children,” says Jeremy Gilliam, academy superintendent. “All students need to be fluent in the use of computer technology, and that is not achieved by visits to a computer lab.  Fluency requires continuous access and integration at home and throughout the school day.”

Through the integration of the iPad device and its learning applications, students will be able to interact with peers throughout the world in educational environments. Among the other advantages cited by MTA instructors is the opportunity for more writing across the curriculum, deeper exploration of course content, and greater flexibility in assessing student learning.  Through the iPad-based curriculum, teachers will deliver content customized to students’ learning needs, while students will have immediate access to instructor notes and classroom instructions.

In addition to hardware and network infrastructure, MTA is investing significant resources in professional development and support.  “Buying technology is easy, however, integrating technology into classrooms and developing people is the challenge. To ensure that students and staff use the new technology to advance learning, two of our best teachers will serve as coaches and trainers,” says Gilliam.

Classes begin Sept. 3. For more information about the One-to-One iPad initiative, please call 313.272.1649 or visit www.mtacademy.us .

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