In the ever changing world of technology in the educational field, 1:1 computing has come to the forefront of initiatives of many school corporations. Merrillville Community School Corporation is taking the steps necessary to ensure that MCSC students are prepared for the digital age and have the tools necessary to integrate technology into the classroom in a manner that is both seamless and ubiquitous.
MCSC is currently in the exploring stage in regards to 1:1 but have already begun to prepare the infrastructure and core applications necessary. In the Fall of 2016, all staff were migrated from Microsoft Exchange to Google for Education. The use of Google accounts allows for staff and students to be able to communicate easier as well as the ability to have one user account across multiple platforms of applications. Clever integration has simplified user rosters in applications to streamline student enrollments in key programs in the areas of testing and curriculum. With any future applications, such as LMS or student integrated data systems, these must use the same credentials as their computer account or google account to assist in ease of use and fluidity between applications.
In pilot areas throughout the school corporation, students have been using ipads, chromebooks and laptops to begin preparing for the 1:1 environment. This exposure gives children the basic skills necessary to be able to navigate and understand applications and the general use of the devices.
In the area of infrastructure, MCSC has filed a E-Rate 470 to add network drops throughout every building to support a one wireless access point per classroom model. Once this is complete, new network switching and access points will be added to every building to create a backbone of the MCSC network that is able to support the 1:1 initiative now and for years to come.
With 1:1 curriculum, technology is there to aid the classroom and enhance the learning experience. It is also there to make life easier for both students and staff with the ability to not only have data on the go but the ability to submit items easily and with immediate feedback. Collaborative and project based learning begins to come to the forefront as students have the tools at their fingertips to create multimedia rich presentations and projects.