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Petroglyph’s Digital Learning Journey

Implementing iPads in the Digital Classroom


The following is a journal which documents how I have led my school on a journey to transform our learning environment as illustrated by the SAMR model.

Initiating Petroglyph purchased 13 iPads.  Our administrators, Instructional Coach, myself, and nine ‘early adopting’ teachers held a study group to explore apps and curricular uses of these exciting iPads in the classroom and for professional productivity.

Expanding We continued with an additional 30 iPads and split them up, five per grade level to share on a rotational basis of their choosing. At this point, teachers were mostly using the educational apps for skills practice in small group settings. The majority of the time the iPads were used to enhance education through substitution.

Leading Our Ed Tech Vision Team was formed, providing professional training on iPad basics and curricular uses of iPads. These early adopting teachers attended monthly meetings and received six iPads for use in their classrooms. Once teachers had iPads permanently in their classrooms they felt more compelled to design mobile, digital learning.

Connecting Our classrooms extended outside our walls by participating in the national Digital Learning Day where we utilized FaceTime to connect with students from around the country.

Showcasing To top off our year of progress, we hosted our first ever Digital Learning Night to showcase our digital projects to the community and district. This event was a huge success which boosted our students’ pride of accomplishment.  

Augmenting This was the year the iPads began being used for more creative and constructive project-based learning. We had grown into the augmentation level of technology usage.


Training In the fall, the entire teaching staff attended two professional development sessions a month regarding iPads. We are continuing the Ed Tech Vision Team meetings for those teachers who are interested in advanced strategies and becoming digital learning leaders. 

I became an authorized Apple Foundations Trainer which has given me a solid base to help others.

Accessing Our school now has 215 iPads on campus. All teachers have 4-6 iPads per classroom which is generally a 1 iPad to 5 student ratio.

We are excited to pilot a "1 to World" fifth grade classroom beginning February 2015 while documenting ways to best implement a 1 to 1 learning environment for the future.

Students Leading The SWAT team (Students Who Advance Technology) was formed this year.  This amazing group of young leaders have certainly advanced technology at our school by engaging in higher level skills, learning from each other, resolving technology problems, mentoring students and teachers, presenting at district principal meetings, creating web pages and initiating student led coding classes.

Advancing I am an advocate of computer science education in schools which led me to organize our school wide participation in the Hour of Code.  By doing so, our school won a $10,000 prize which is our stimulus to start a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Academy at our school where kids will learn by making, creating and exploring.

Showcasing We hosted our 2nd annual Digital Learning Night and added on student led technology workshops in iPad basics, creating QR codes and Coding.

Redefining As you can see we have had progress each year which has led us to redefining and transforming education through technology.