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Greenwich Academy Dives Into Using iPads

GREENWICH, Conn. – The use of iPads and other popular tablet technologies in classrooms to enhance student learning is being pioneered by private schools in town, including Greenwich Academy.

A pilot program began last year in Greenwich Academy’s lower school was such a success, the academy expanded it into the full school, said director of Technology and Information Systems Dirk DeLeo. “At the younger ages, students were much more tactile and could figure them out very quickly,” said DeLeo.

A total of 140 iPads are now available throughout the lower, middle and upper schools at Greenwich Academy. Though the school’s libraries and classrooms are already filled with iMacs and MacBooks, DeLeo said applications on the iPad allow it go beyond a traditional laptop. “We’ve always had a very forward-looking technology department, and we like to look at these new technologies to see what the best practices will be,” he said.

DeLeo was honored as an Apple Distinguished Educator this year. He discussed the integration of iPads and management of the school’s program at the Apple Fall Technology Update, with a presentation called, “Invasive Species? iPads in our Ecosystem.”

The school assigned iPads to most of the lower school faculty to find appropriate applications. They chose apps that promote reading comprehension, cursive writing and mathematics for younger students. The iPads are being used in the upper school as well, but mostly for visual arts and science applications.

“This really pushes the teachers to push technology in the classroom in a way that benefits student learning,” said DeLeo. The private girls school hopes to bring electronic textbooks and more electronic recreational reading into the hands of students. “It will be a way to have all the material on demand when they need it.”

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