Frost Lake has been an innovator in our district, starting as a technology magnet school, as well as being the first school in St. Paul to begin a 1:1 iPad program. Since the focus at Frost Lake is eliminating racially predictable achievement gaps, staff has explored how to leverage the technology that we have in the building, like iPads, laptops, or video cameras, to personalize learning.
Teachers redefine student learning experiences by creating opportunities for students to have a voice in choosing what and how they learn. Having iPads in each student’s hands enables them to access far more resources than a traditional school library or curriculum would. iPads allow teachers to tailor standards to the interests and passions of each student. Often these choices include aspects of racial and cultural identities, such as research about home countries, or cultural traditions and folk stories.
Through shared work in collaborative documents or presentations, students are able to coach each other through learning and explaining concepts. iPads also allow students to share work with each other, and broader audiences, like the rest of the school, families, and even online communities. Sharing work this way makes our effort more authentic because students have an audience for their work. Students aren’t just creating a poetry book to fulfill the poetry unit guidelines, they are creating poetry that tells about themselves, and are able to learn about others in the school through shared work as well.