May 24, 2012
Dear Students and Parents,
At my Investiture last fall, I promised that while we would never ignore time-honored teaching methods, we would welcome appropriate and meaningful new ideas, including integration of cutting-edge technology into our curriculum. Now, I write to share news of an exciting initiative beginning this fall: Choate Rosemary Hall will implement an iPad program for all students.
For more than a year, a small group of Choate faculty members and administrators have worked to establish the School as a leader in this technology. In the spring of 2011, we launched an iPad Pilot Program with 13 faculty members across all academic departments to explore and develop ways to integrate this technology into best teaching practices. As the success of our pilot became apparent, and with enthusiasm for iPads growing, we doubled faculty participation in the pilot in November, and then added 80 students to the program in January. The School also dedicated a recent in-service day to professional development in support of the faculty’s use of the iPad. All teaching faculty received their own personal iPads this spring and have been encouraged to explore and, where appropriate, incorporate this tool into their classrooms and everyday lives. We believe that our graduated approach to integrating the iPad into the curriculum has been thorough, thoughtful, and tempered.
Earlier this month, a contingent of Choate teachers and administrators attended a two-day executive briefing session at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, and observed a K-12 school that is conducting its own pilot program. What we learned from this visit, together with the creative engagement of our own students and teachers with iPads, has made us even more certain that adopting a one-to-one iPad program at Choate Rosemary Hall is the right move at the right time.
Therefore, beginning in September 2012, all students will be required to have an iPad2 or latest generation iPad. This is an important step in preparing our students for a digital future, and we now ask you to make a commitment to that future.
Having all of our students on a single platform will give teachers greater opportunities for presenting information within a broader context. Students and teachers alike will have access to resources at any time, in class and out, making the learning process seamless. Within the next few years, the iPad will revolutionize the textbook industry, making the initial outlay for such a device pay for itself over time. These are only a few of the compelling reasons to move from the pilot phase to full adoption. We will be the first among our peer schools to do so, thereby positioning Choate as an innovator in 21st century learning.
For your convenience we have set up a Frequently Asked Questions page at (www.choate.edu/ipadFAQ). If you do not already own an iPad, please refer to this page for purchase information and recommendations. You may want to consider purchasing an iPad at any Apple store or, alternatively, you may purchase an iPadthrough the School and it will be available for pickup at Registration in September. Half of the total cost will be billed on your first tuition statement in July, and the balance will be billed in November. If this presents a financial burden for your family, please send an email requesting assistance to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 15.
I am proud that our community of learners is seizing this unique moment in education and am excited to see what will unfold as teachers and students at Choate Rosemary Hall become the movers and shapers of 21st century teaching and learning.
Dr. Alex D. Curtis Headmaster
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