FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – School District 60 students in Grade 6 are using iPads and learning applications to foster participation, literacy and competency across various mediums.

School District 60 Superintendent, Stephen Petrucci, highlighted some of the features of iPad-assisted learning in his Superintendent’s Report.

As part of the Curriculum With Technology (CWT) program, students are assigned an iPad at the start of the term, and various assignments are given to be completed using a range of pre-screened applications.

Petrucci says the programming in the district has always been advanced.

“The programming we have in our district has been pretty advanced for a number of years,” said Petrucci, who pointed to the iPads for Grade 6 students. “This is a one-to-one program. One device per student in all of our Grade six classes.”

Petrucci says the students are given a device with various apps like iMovie, Explain Everything, Book Creator and ChatterPix, challenging students to become more digitally literate as they complete assignments.

With the world at a student’s fingertips, Petrucci says the devices are securely tied into a school network that has security parameters built into them.

“Of course, when they’re using them on their own, we get every child to sign an appropriate computer use form that all students in the district have done.”

Petrucci says, with increasingly tech-savvy kids, it’s important to understand why the students are using a specific form of technology.

“What’s absolutely critical in terms of how they’re used in schools is: what are they being used for? As you can imagine, there’s always the temptation for games or the novelty of certain tech devices, but we always have an end goal in mind.”

In the Superintendent’s Report, the theme of the CWT program is: how can this technology leverage literacy for kids?

“How can it improve their writing output as well as the writing quality? And we also use it for numeracy, but it’s really important that there’s this goal around literacy and numeracy.”

Petrucci says that with great power from these technologies and devices comes responsibility as well.

“There’s good and bad with these kinds of devices, and that’s why we’re really careful around our parameters around their use in terms of iPads.”