WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2017

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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a lot of subjects. For research. We use it a lot in English Language Arts. Some kids take notes on it." Me: "So do teachers tell you when to take out your iPads? Do you think having the iPads is helpful?" Sam: (Eyes focused on the screen. Silence.) Me: "Do you think they can be distracting?" Sam: "Wait…what were you saying?" * * * As technology seems to have evolved at light speed in recent years, the omnipresence of cell phones and the constant lure of internet access, texting, videos, and games have been a challenge for students, parents, and teachers to navigate. And now, in this landscape, more devices are coming. The wave of the future in the classroom is the incorporation of the laptop — one for every student, to be used in every class. Is the addition of computers to the modern classroom an improve- ment? An advantage? An inevitability? A high-priced distraction? And is it more than just an expensive notepad? * * * In 2013, the Weston Public Schools' BYOT program, also known as the 1:1 initiative, began at Weston High School. The program was piloted in a seventh grade class at Weston Middle School and rolled into eighth grade. When this test group entered high school, the program expanded to all classrooms in the freshman class. Dr. Lee McCanne, director of technology for Weston Public Schools, notes that the 1:1 initiative has been a process that has included formal training to help teachers effectively incorporate laptops into their class- rooms. Weston High School faculty members were very receptive to the idea from the beginning. "The challenge is for faculty to design meaningful, thoughtful programs for the technology," McCanne notes. "You can't teach in the same ways that you did previously." Weston fac- ulty participated in professional development each summer over a three-year period when the program was getting started. "These courses highlighted the best practices with tech and talked about behavioral management and style changes within the classroom," he says. This fall, BYOT is coming to Wellesley High School. After a two-year pilot, the 1:1 initiative is rolling out. And teachers are ready for it. Christine Kerr is entering her 18th year teaching Honors and College Prep English to 9th and 10th grade students at Wellesley High School. She was one of several teachers to pilot the 1:1 computer pro- gram in two of her classes. In her estimation, the introduction of lap- tops has been a big improvement. Students' work is submitted through the online platforms Google docs and Canvas. She's noticed that with S T O C K B R O K E R / 1 2 3 R F . C O M W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 7 162 education "immediate, real-time feedback"

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