All Neenah Joint School District students in grades 3-12 are using their own personal computing device beginning in the 2015-16 school year.
Students in grades 3-5 have been assigned 32GB iPad-Air tablets for use in school every day. Sixth grade students at Horace Mann Middle School will be using Chromebook notebook computers this year after using iPads last year. Students in grades 7-12 at Shattuck Middle School and Neenah High School will be provided Chromebooks to use both in school and away from school in evenings and weekends.
Primary computer labs in the Horace Mann and Shattuck library media centers will continue to be available to be reserved for projects and applications that require a more robust environment than that offered by a Chromebook. Similarly, desktop computers at Neenah High School will remain in the library and in other content areas such as Technology Education, Art and Special Education. In elementary buildings, aging desktop computers were upgraded last year to Apple MacBook Air laptops as the primary computer lab in each building.
Each kindergarten classroom has been assigned six iPad tablets and each first and second grade classroom has been assigned 10 iPad tablets for the second straight year. Each four-year-old kindergarten classrooms will also have five iPads.
Staff professional development in 2015-16 is focusing on depth of understanding and implementation of the major tools available. District staff participated in a full day of technology training this summer.
“Technology is no longer an initiative in Neenah, but rather an integral component of who we are as a District,” said Superintendent Dr. Mary Pfeiffer. “We also are aware that technology is only a tool and it is imperative we maximize the learning that can be done with such incredible resources.”
In addition to the personal devices, each elementary classroom has its own Smart Board, which is an interactive whiteboard. Students at all levels are also using the Schoology Learning Management System for provide a “virtual extension” of the classroom. Teachers create announcements, calendars, learning resources and links to web-based resources. They can also make themselves available through discussions for students either in class or away from school. Parents are able to access assignments and grades for their students in classes using the software.