It's fairly safe to say that most administrators in Chicago-area public and private high schools would like to have more mobile devices in the hands of students as soon as possible. It is the wave of education and a big topic at school board meetings. Administrators say iPads can provide students and teachers much more access to learning tools than traditional resources.
The biggest stumbling block, like that facing Elmhurst Unit District 205, for example, is how to pay for them.
Timothy Christian High School in Elmhurst, however, has come up with a plan and will roll it out next year. Timothy is the latest among a growing number of high schools going to a one-to-one computing platform as part of its 2014 curriculum.
One-to-one computing means that each high school student at Timothy will be provided with a mobile device, the 16 GB iPad Air, to be specific. Administrators say it is central to enhancing student learning.
Families will not be charged separately for the devices; they will be included in the regular tuition cost. Administrators admit tuition is going up next year, but they say the purchase of iPads is only one of several reasons.
Students are required to use the devices provided by the school, not their own, and the school maintains ownership of the devices. Eventually, textbooks will be accessible on the iPads.
For more information, check out Frequently Asked Questions on Timothy's website.
Principal Brad Mitchell, in a letter to parents, thanked "a visionary group of administrators" and the Board of Directors who helped bring the program to fruition.
Other schools that have recently approved one-to-one computing include Montini Catholic High School and Glenbard High School District 87.
The first in a series of parent meetings to discuss the devices will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, at the school.