Jackson Academy’s youngest Raiders will graduate in just fourteen years. While that may seem like a long time from now, their educational journey, now just beginning, will greatly influence their future in a world that is different from the one that most of our graduates grew up in. What skills will a student need in ten, fifteen, even twenty years from now? We cannot know exactly, but we can predict that the world will change significantly, as it has in the past twenty years. Consequently, a student’s education will change as well.
Academics has always been a very important aspect of Jackson Academy, and academics is still at the forefront of the current strategic plan. The JA leadership believes that students need the core foundation of knowledge that has been taught at JA since its inception as well as skills that will prepare them for 21st Century citizenship. These skills include creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration. While these skills are not new, they are in ever-increasing demand in a world that is more digital and more globally connected. Technology has evolved into a tool for fostering these 21st century skills.
Recognizing the need to prepare our students for a changing world, the JA Board of Trustees and the administration have begun to create a digital learning environment for all students. The transformation will take several years to accomplish. The strength of the JA faculty will be supplemented by a more student-centered learning environment. Teachers will mix traditional teaching methods with project- and inquiry-based learning. This mix will allow teachers to work more closely with students on an individual and small-group basis. It will enable learning to take place outside the classroom as well as in it. To implement our goals, we are establishing a 1:1 technology initiative. We have partnered with Apple, Inc. to create this digital learning environment, which we are calling iLearn. Devices will be issued to all students for the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year.
“To build a distinctive element into the educational program designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositional qualities needed for success in the 21st Century.”
The world is rapidly becoming both more digital and more globally connected. To best prepare our students to live and work in this changing environment, Jackson Academy believes there is a need to supplement our traditional curriculum with more technology and our traditional teaching methods with more flexible and collaborative methods. A foundational goal of our Strategic Plan is, “To build a distinctive element into the educational program designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositional qualities needed for success in the 21st Century.”
- Promote student centered learning environments
- Promote and foster 21st century learning skills
- Improve communication and collaboration with teachers and students
- Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity
- Promote digital citizenship and responsibility
Jackson Academy deployed over 1,300 Apple devices in July of 2012. In particular, our 15 Meet Your Mac sessions were held in which 5th-12th graders and their parents came to a session where they went through a presentation and then picked up their Macbook Air. Below you will find the entire Meet Your Mac session, our profile video, as well as a in depth look at our deployment. We have also posted a summary of our entire program so you can find out more about beginning a 1:1 program.