Why a 1-to-1 Program

Teacher instructing students using iPadsThe focus of the iPad program at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School is to provide tools and resources to the 21st  Century Learner.  Excellence in education requires that technology is seamlessly integrated throughout the educational program.   Increasing access to technology is essential for the future, and one of the learning tools of these 21st Century students is the iPad computer.  The individual use of iPads is a way to empower students to maximize their full potential and to prepare them for college and the workplace.


Learning results from continuous dynamic interaction among students, educators, parents and the extended community.   Technology immersion does not diminish the vital role of the teacher.  To the contrary, it transforms the teacher from a director of learning to a facilitator of learning.   Effective teaching and learning with iPads integrates technology into the curriculum anytime, anyplace.


The policies, procedures and information within this document apply to all iPads used at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School, including any other device considered by the administration to come under this policy.  Teachers may set additional requirements for use in their classroom.


Educational Impact

Student using an iPad in classWhat is the overall reason(s) for implementing a 1-to-1 iPad initiative? We want our students, who are living in the 21st century, to have a 21st century educational experience.  A 1-to-1 iPad learning environment is the model that will best support 21st century teaching and learning.


Is there any research to support the implementation of a 1-to-1 iPad learning program? Conclusions drawn from available research indicates that the 1-to-1 learning experience provides many positive outcomes for students, staff, and the parent community.  Among the outcomes mentioned the most are:

  • Improved writing skills and depth of student’s research.
  • Increased student interest in learning and ownership of the learning process.
  • Improvement in student and staff attendance.
  • Reductions in student behavior problems.
  • Increased parental interest in school activities.
  • Improved student and staff morale.
  • Reductions in lecture/presentation instruction and an increase in project based learning activities.

What’s the main benefit of a 1-to-1 iPad program to the students and teachers? 
Students studying together using an iPadA 1-to-1 iPad program addresses many challenges in education, which makes it attractive strategy.  Every school has some unique goals that pertain to it alone, but there are many more goals that are common to almost all  1-to-1 programs.  Those are:

  • To improve equity of access to technology
  • To improve the quality of learning
  • To institute and support best practice in technology integration
  • To improve student learning of content
  • To institute formative assessments and differentiated instruction
  • To increase performance on standardized tests
  • To improve the student’s ability to become lifelong learners
  • To prepare students for college and the world of work
  • To improve the connection between home and school.

The iPad makes anytime, anywhere access to valuable information a reality. No longer does accessing the power of a computer lab have to be a planned event.  It will be there when you need it, when it can have the greatest impact on instruction. With a 1-to-1 program, teachers will be able to respond to questions or discussions immediately instead of trying to anticipate the need and scheduling time to go to a lab.  Furthermore:

How does the 1-to-1 iPad initiative meet Saint Stephen’s curricular goals?  Saint Stephen’s is currently in the process of updating and realigning our curriculum with a particular emphasis on five 21st  century learning goals. The iPad initiative will help to enhance our development in each of these areas:

Critical Thinking

Lower School students using a fractal app on an iPadThe iPad supports learning in the way student’s think.  By putting a world of easily searchable information at their fingertips, inquiry based learning becomes more possible.  Students will be able to direct their own learning with  the  teacher  acting  as  facilitator  and  guide  rather  than  sage of knowledge.  Inquiry based learning demands that students develop critical thinking skills in order to solve problems and find answers to questions.  Additionally,   as   students   have   more   ownership   of   their learning, engagement in the process increases. Several studies indicate that there is a clear correlation between student engagement and retention of material. Control studies show a clear increase in student engagement in schools & classrooms that integrate 1-to-1 technology effectively.   Increased student engagement coupled with interactive web 2.0 tools will increase the opportunity for deep inquiry based learning experiences.


Faculty, students, parents, and administrators will have increased communication tools with the iPads.  Every student will have an email that teachers will have easy access to.  Teachers can send email reminders to students, teacher websites can be set up with RRS feeds, QR codes on handouts/activities, increases ease of communication while decreasing the need to consume resources (paper, time, etc) to do so.  Additionally, various applications allow for increased  communication  between  students, increasing the opportunities for collaboration.


Student collaboration becomes easier to manage. Students are “always” connected to each other.  Cloud based applications eliminate the “he’s not here, and has all our work” disruptions. Teachers have increased ability to monitor collaboration, teach collaboration skills & procedures and give the “academic work” of investigating, synthesizing and creating to the students


Student using an iPad in classiPads become the catalyst to increased creativity in numerous areas of our organization.  “We can’t because we don’t have (the resources, time, and interest) as an excuse is eliminated. Teachers have unlimited ways of integrating content, skills & assessment into meaningful and engaging experiences for students.  Students have unlimited options in demonstrating their understanding and abilities.  Increased connectivity allows for greater flexibility in bringing teams of people together to solve problems. iPads will also allow for greater creativity in our curricular offerings. As an example, the student help center that is central to the success of this initiative will allow some of our students to capitalize on their innate interest and talent in technology, an opportunity we did not have before.

Information & Media Literacy (digital literacy)

Students and teachers will be required to evaluate the innumerable tools at their fingertips. Evaluation of sources, perspectives, and purpose will become the focus of conversations as new applications and uses are introduced. We not only want to educate students using the tools of the 21st century they are living in, but how to successfully evaluate and use those tools.

Does the iPad take the place of the textbook?

To start with it will replace many of our current textbook choices and we can envision more and more being replaced as time goes on. There is no doubt that this is a future trend and with a 1-to-1 iPad learning program we will be well positioned to take advantage of the cost savings, flexibility, ability to customize, and other advantages to having electronic textbooks.

Educational Summary

Technology can help meet the needs of different intelligences, different learning styles and different learning paces. Our 1-to-1 iPad learning will put these tools in the hands of every student for anywhere, anytime learning.  The investment we make in this program will result in a much better educational value for our students than the traditional, 20th century technology model. Technology is available when needed, when it makes sense, when it will support teaching and learning.

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