Why One-to-One Computing At Briarcrest?
Technology is ever changing and the changes are occurring rapidly. In many cases, children are native to the latest technology and many adults find themselves “catching up.” This phenomenon is quite evident as we witness our youngest students begin school with significant levels of technological skills.
Since the uses of technology are expanding significantly, Briarcrest Christian School is making plans to move to a higher level in the application of technology by students and teachers. For several years, out students in middle school and high school have been allowed to bring their personal laptops and other devices for use in the classroom. We have patterned this structure after colleges and universities where students bring their own devices and use them at their discretion. The number of our students who use these devices within the school day has increased steadily. We have also accumulated a significant number of carts with laptops and iPads for teachers to use in the classroom from elementary through high school. However, we believe that there is an ever-increasing amount of appropriate online material available that needs to be more accessible. We currently have some courses in both our middle and high school that primarily use these online resources daily for instruction. We have also significantly increased the need for student computers to facilitate project-based learning.
With these thoughts in mind, BCS is announcing that we are moving toward a one-to-one student computing structure (each student will have a computer) in the fifth through the twelfth grades. This timetable will enable us to have adequate time to further equip and train our instructional personnel in best practices relative to the structure of one-to-one technology in the classroom. In the interim period, we will continue to adhere to our current model and encourage our teachers and students to use approved technology when it enhances learning.
In the 2016-17 school year, Briarcrest will provide all fifth through twelfth grade students with an Apple MacBook Air laptop. Briarcrest will own and maintain these devices, and the Internet connection will be maintained, filtered and monitored by Briarcrest. We plan to phase in a technology fee of approximately $400. We anticipate that the combined increase of the technology fee and the tuition will still total less than 5% on a year-over-year basis.
This exciting new program will prepare our students for the technology-rich environments they will encounter in college and beyond. We are dedicated to making decisions in the best educational interests of our college-bound students and hope you will join us in welcoming this new initiative that will enhance pursuit of academic excellence.
Mark Merrill, BCS President Steve Simpson, BCS Headmaster