1:1 Technology for Learning
Turning universal and robust technology access into a springboard for dynamic learning and limitless creativity
MKA's technology program supports curriculum and instruction, communication and faculty professional development in ways that intentionally promote learning.
Recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for 2013–2017, MKA provides dynamic, effective technology tools to support curriculum and instruction, communication and professional development in ways that promote learning. Students and faculty on all three campuses are excited and engaged by using technology. All teachers and students in grades 4–12 are provided with individual MacBook Air laptops together with an identical suite of software, ensuring a common platform for instruction, while Primary School students have access to iPads, mobile laptop carts and a library technology space. (Learn more by visiting the History of the 1:1 Learning Initiative.)
At MKA, technology is viewed as a tool to acquire knowledge, practice skills, problem-solve, demonstrate and communicate understanding and explore learning in new ways. Students are challenged to use technology to become more flexible, innovative thinkers and to understand and respect the moral and ethical issues related to their use of technology.
All campuses have wireless Internet access, all classrooms are equipped with a projector and all students and faculty can save their work to MKA’s servers. In addition to their laptops, students on all campuses have access to an extensive array of tools and services, such as Technology Centers for Apple Certified support, scientific probes, digital video and still cameras and classroom interactive white boards. MKA provides students at home access to a variety of resources, too, including Moodle, technology tutorials, subscription online learning software and library databases.
Technology and the Curriculum
Moodle, the web-based course management system used on all three campuses, provides a student-centered, dynamic, interactive learning environment. Moodle allows teachers to gather and organize their course resources for student access and to provide continuity from one class meeting to the next. Forums, wikis, journals and chats provide powerful communication and collaboration tools that enable teachers and students to share ideas, provide and respond to feedback and build knowledge together.
- Creating short videos, slide show presentations or e-books that demonstrate student thinking.
- Documenting student work using iPad camera, audio and screencasting apps.
- Using Libguides and other online databases to guide and support students through the research process.
- Exploring our world and making global connections utilizing iPad apps.
- Practicing problem-solving and spelling concepts using iPads in station models.
- Working on unit specific, enrichment projects that demonstrate understanding of curriculum content.
- Recording original songs and exploring music.
- Introducing basic keyboarding and coding skills.
- Using open-ended iPad apps to create and share work that supports assessment, reflection and a deeper understanding of content.
- Creating an iMovie to present a personal narrative or the findings of historical research.
- Self-assessing writing by recording a piece, listening and revising.
- Publishing science research results on a web site.
- Creating podcasts to self-assess and increase fluency in foreign language.
- Composing images that demonstrate comprehension using Photoshop.
- Creating animations to explain mathematical concepts.
- Collecting data with probe ware.
- Using Moodle to discuss ideas with others in forums or chats, to reflect and self-assess with online journals and questionnaires and to manage assignments with the personal calendar.
- Practicing keyboarding skills using MKA’s web-based software.
- Demonstrating results of scientific research by vodcasting (video casting).
- Improving fluency in foreign language by creating and listening to podcasts.
- Collecting and annotating oral histories using an iPod.
- Analyzing phenomena in physics using computer-generated simulations.
- Peer-reviewing research papers in Turnitin.com.
- Designing a web site to reach an audience.
- Reflecting on learning in a Moodle journal.
- Debating a historical or current event in a Moodle forum.
- Summarizing and collaborating on the day’s classwork in a Moodle wiki.
Apple Distinguished School
From 2013 to 2017, MKA has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for its implementation of Apple technology in its 1:1 Laptop Learning Initiative for grades 4–12 and its use of iPads for grades Pre-K–3. The Apple Distinguished School designation is reserved for programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership and educational excellence and that demonstrate Apple’s vision of exemplary learning environments.
“The selection of MKA as an Apple Distinguished School highlights our success in providing a highly personal, technology-enriched learning environment that engages students and prepares them to be prepared and confident in an increasingly technology-driven world,” noted Headmaster Thomas W. Nammack on learning of the award. “We are delighted that Apple has recognized our achievements in this way.”
At MKA, Middle and Upper School students and all faculty work from a common platform of MacBook Airs, together with an identical suite of software, to ensure equal and ubiquitous access to all. Students are prepared for the responsibility of assuming full administrative rights on their machines from 4th grade on, and faculty take part in an annual summer Technology Institute, together with regular workshops, to augment their professional development and ensure that they remain at the cutting edge of integrating technology into the curriculum.
Since implementing the program in 2010, MKA has secured a national reputation for excellence in the field of educational technology. Designated as the “Spotlight School” at the 2012 Laptop Institute in Memphis, TN, where members of MKA’s faculty and administration led workshops ranging from integrating technology into the curriculum to using students as Laptop Leaders in the implementation and continued development of a successful 1:1 program, MKA is regularly visited by teams of educators from across the country and across the world interested in implementing 1:1 laptop programs in their own schools and districts.
On the National Stage
MKA has secured a national reputation for excellence in the field of educational technology and is regularly visited by teams of educators from across the country interested in implementing 1:1 laptop programs in their own schools and districts.
MKA was designated the Spotlight School at the 2012 Laptop Institute in Memphis, Tennessee, where members of the faculty and administration led workshops covering professional development on technology integration, using students as Laptop Leaders, financing a laptop program and using the Evernote application.
At a 2010 Faculty Tech Institute, teachers quickly saw the potential the Evernote app held for providing dynamic assessment and feedback. Members of MKA’s Technology Department and representatives from Evernote met to discuss both how the application could promote learning and how input from the school could help Evernote’s product development. Now Evernote is one of the most widely used applications in the school. It goes beyond allowing quick and easy capture of Internet research materials to enabling an MKA athlete to post notes by phone from the team bus, a Middle School drama student to have an annotated discussion about a character with the teacher or a young scientist to record, caption and analyze photos of a science experiment.
Intrigued to see its product in action at its flagship school account, Evernote came to MKA to film classrooms and interview administrators and representatives from the Middle and Upper School Student Laptop Leadership group