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Flower Mound middle school equips students with iPads

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Downing Middle School students in Flower Mound are taking a big bite of the Apple as part of their learning experience.

Students received Apple iPads last week to use at school and at home to encourage learning on the go.

In addition, each classroom was outfitted with five MacBook Air notebook computers and every teacher and administrator received a MacBook Pro computer.

The technology is part of Lewisville ISD’s recently launched 1:X blended learning program at Downing, as well as Killian Middle School and Lewisville High School.

“We are changing the way we do business with our students,” LISD Superintendent Dr. Stephen Waddell said. “This initiative will give our students an edge and empower them to be prepared to think critically, problem solve and design in the 21st century.”

School officials said that the 1:X program is a groundbreaking flexible learning environment that gives students technological devices to access, create, share and collaborate.

“The district decided to use Apple products above others because their products have proven to allow students to create. Research shows these tools empower students to learn through increasing achievement and engagement,” LISD Instructional Technology Director Jerram Froese said.

“These high-quality, student-driven devices generally have less technical issues, which allows our teachers and students more time to engage, create and collaborate.”

During implementation at each campus, students were smiling from ear to ear and instantly using devices to collaborate with their classmates and friends.

“I plan on using my iPad to create projects to make better presentations,” Downing eighth-grader Jacob Fountaine said. “We are so happy, thankful and glad that we were able to apart of this awesome program.”

LISD is in the process of implementing a second phase of 1:X at Donald, Bluebonnet, Peters Colony, and Lewisville Elementary schools and Forestwood Middle School to start the 2014-15 school year.

The district’s goal is to have the 1:X program encompass all LISD campuses within three years.

Parents may opt in and out of the program. As a substitute for the district-issued device, in-class devices, books and other materials will be available for students.

“Every student will have access to technology within the classroom and on the campus whether they participate in the program or not,” Froese said.

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