November 14, 2016
Dear Parents and Guardians,
It is with excitement that we share that effective for the 2017-18 school year, all McQuaid Jesuit students will receive an iPad Air 2. The iPad, accompanied by a suite of apps and a protective case, will be included in the cost of tuition. Programs such as these are commonly known as “1:1 programs” -- that is, one device for each student in the school.
Jesuit education will always be loyal to its roots in the classic liberal arts, but its magis spirit also puts it on the frontiers, in dialogue with the society and culture of our times. Our school’s move into a 1:1 program is one of a series of initiatives that will move a McQuaid Jesuit education firmly into the digital age, aligning us with the significant majority of other Jesuit schools throughout the country that have successfully embraced similar projects.
The benefits for our students will be both pedagogical and practical. The chief goals of our 1:1 program are to allow our students access to technology and its applications that develop skills increasingly necessary for success in college and beyond: collaboration, creativity, organization, critical thinking, and thoughtful research, among others. A 1:1 program allows students access to information and collaborators, as well as the applications needed to design and manage their learning, literally at their fingertips. It is exciting to imagine the possibilities in the context of a McQuaid Jesuit classroom!
The prospective benefits are not just limited to the traditional classroom. None of us can deny that we now live in a digital age, and that technology already plays a pervasive role in shaping our students’ lives. And so our 1:1 initiative is not just about educating with technology; it’s designed to educate about technology. Ignatian discernment and reflection, which remains at the heart of what we do at McQuaid Jesuit, offer a perfect means by which our students might think about their use of technology. We will recommit ourselves to conversations with our students about digital citizenship, media literacy, and contemplative, reflective use of technology in their lives, now and in the future.
Our preparation for this new endeavor has been thorough, and it continues. Last year, teachers worked in small cohorts to familiarize themselves with the iPad and its potential application to classroom instruction. This summer, our campus saw a complete overhaul of our wireless network in anticipation of our new program. This year, we have deployed a fleet of iPad carts for teachers to use as needed. We are currently selecting a suite of common apps and preparing student orientation sessions for summer 2017.
This is an exciting development in the history of McQuaid Jesuit and its ongoing mission of forming young men of competence, character, and compassion. I look forward to sharing more news as the year progresses.
Adam R Baber