School Life
Technology

iPads for Rising 3rd Graders

Dear Parents of Rising Third Graders,

As you and your child look forward to making the transition into Grade 3 next fall, you may be certain that many wonderful and meaningful experiences await. One of the opportunities your child will have is to participate in our 1:1 iPad program. This letter of information about that program is being provided to you well in advance so that you may be apprised of what the program will involve.

Our faculty and you, as parents, expect our students to become the leaders of tomorrow, communicating, collaborating, creating, leading and serving in global communities to confront and address the many challenges faced by all members of this planet we call "home." Never before have millions of people been able to connect with one another in mere seconds. Technology has brought a wealth of knowledge, communication and challenges to each of us. Our students must be prepared for a world that changes rapidly yet still needs, perhaps more than ever, solutions grounded in strong, universal values. For our students to be meaningfully engaged in their education and future, they need 21st century tools and the skills to use them effectively and ethically. We believe that a 1:1 computer program is essential to their learning environment and, also, believe that iPads are the best device for this program.

Next year in grade 3 we are requiring each third grader to have an iPad, a protective case for the device, a keyboard and earbuds. A comparative list of acceptable iPad versions is linked (right) for your consideration. In early August, we will provide you with a list of apps that you and your child will need to download as school begins.

At this point, some of you may be asking, "Why iPads when there are so many other devices out there?" Please read the linked page (right) for reasons why we believe the iPad is the best tool for our 1:1 program. Please know that your child will use his/her iPad in fourth and fifth grade.

Our current grade 3, 4 and 5 students have been using iPads in their classes, with great enthusiasm, success and minimal "down time" due to computer issues. The most frequent down time cause is students' forgetting to charge their iPads the night before. Every faculty member has an iPad to use in the class and the teachers have integrated these mobile devices into their curricular programs.

We do not feel that iPads or any other computers are the keys to educational excellence. They are, however, tools, just as are calculators, books, lab equipment, playing fields, musical instruments and the like. The most important educational "tools" are the teachers--their minds, hearts, values, energy, talents, skills, role modeling and attitudes. The teachers remain the single most important "device" for learning--the kind of learning that develops capable, creative, courageous and caring young men and women. There is no "app" for that except excellent teachers and engaged students. Of these, we have many!

In case you have any questions about the iPad program and its requirements, please consult the Technology page of the School's website. Please feel free to email our office with any concerns you may have that are not addressed in either this letter or links (right).  

Thank you for your continued support and trust.  

Sincerely,

Kristen Sheehan, Ed. D.
Head of Lower School
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
A premier PK3 - Grade 12 independent, coeducational day school with campuses in North Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. Since 1960, The Benjamin School has provided a challenging college preparatory education to a diverse student body in a structured, nurturing community environment.