View technology brochure
In April of 2012, The Grosse Pointe Academy Technology Committee presented a plan to support student-centered, experiential learning in the 21st century – and to ensure the unimpeachable quality of the “Academy Advantage.”
Based upon this vision, the Academy undertook a technology fund raising initiative at the Live Action Auction on May 12, 2012, raising over $275,000 to support the purchase of new equipment, infrastructure and software, and to provide professional development for faculty.
Through the generous financial support of our families and friends, the Academy was able to significantly accelerate the implementation of the initial plan to accomplish the following for the start of the 2012-13 school year:
- Replace all computers in the library and computer lab with 34 Apple iMac desktops
- Upgrade all classroom computers in grades 1-5 with two Apple iMac desktops per room
- Provide five mobile classroom sets of 17 Apple iPads for student use
- Position 20 interactive document cameras and projectors around the school for teacher instruction and student demonstration
- Replace teacher desktops with 36 Apple MacBook laptops
- Add wireless access points throughout the school to ensure seamless wireless coverage
The use of these new technologies will serve curriculum goals to reinforce skills in a non-traditional way while providing real world simulations and hands-on enrichment activities; in short, technology is a tool for active, student-centered learning. It is not enough to simply put devices in students’ hands and assume that they will learn. Instead, technology at GPA is designed to help students explore new avenues, demonstrate learning in different ways, and be more productive. Through the use of technology, teachers will continue to challenge each student to develop to his or her maximum potential, instruction will be more individualized, and students will master the skills necessary to be engaged, confident, and productive learners.
A 21st Century Curriculum
Central to the implementation of our technology plan is the redesign of our curriculum. While there are many traditional elements that we will safeguard, a curriculum for the twenty-first century will require us to carefully examine and update our current curriculum and methods.
Such improvements will serve to extend students’ conceptual understandings, facilitate differentiated instruction that meets each learner where he or she is, and allow for deeper extension and the pursuit of individual interests. At the same time, the new technologies will spark critical thinking and problem solving, increase communication, spur collaboration, and foster greater creativity and innovation.
Faculty Training in the Curricular Uses of Technology
The success of a technology-enriched program rests with Academy teachers integrating the new equipment and devices into classroom learning. The school has identified two avenues for providing effective professional development for our faculty.
First, a Technology & Learning Specialist faculty position was created to train and team with classroom teachers in the use of technology to support instruction. Additionally, the school has retained the services of Educational Collaborators, a nationally-known consulting firm made up of independent school educators, to help create our professional development model, provide technical support and training, and assist in program evaluation.
Equipment and infrastructure needs continue to be assessed, and in the near future, the school looks to complete the Technology Plan by:
- purchasing additional document cameras and projectors in order to have one per classroom
- developing a 1-to-1 iPad program in grades 6-8
- continuing to identify and acquire the software and hardware necessary to support a culture of innovation.
The Academy is grateful to all of the donors who have partnered with the school to support new technology implementation to date. If you would like to take part in this exciting initiative, please contact the Development Department.