MARTINSBURG — The Berkeley County Board of Education unanimously approved the purchase of 300 new iPads for the district that will be used in the second step of a pilot program at certain secondary schools.
The iPads, totaling $1,388,052, will be used as replacements in Martinsburg High School, Musselman High School and South Middle School, where the iPad is being used in replacement of the already used Chromebook.
“The focus of this pilot is to examine how the devices changed instruction, focusing on the four Cs of technology: collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and communication,” said Maranda Ralph, Berkeley County Schools assistant director of instructional technology.
The purchase will provide all students within those schools with not only the device but also a case and a keyboard, which was factored into the cost. Ralph said the keyboard was pushed for, as it will be instructionally beneficial.
The pilot program was originally approved during the last school year, when Step 1 provided all the teachers in those schools with iPads as part of the program. At that time, BCS Instructional Technology Specialist Derek Oldfield explained that changes to technology, given the ever-changing landscape, are always being had, and the iPads were a step forward based on the ease of use and the abilities the devices provide.
The program has been rolled out in the steps as a way to give the educators a chance to become acquainted with the devices and learn their uses in the classrooms before having them in the hands of the students.
Teachers in those pilot schools were also given Apple TV to help best utilize the technology in learning.
The district already uses iPads at the younger level, using them in K-Grade 5. At the secondary level, the Chromebooks are used.