As with most schools and organizations, technology and its applications are the buzz at St. Timothy’s School.
“We have one-to-one iPads for the middle school students, and we did include the sixth grade this year, along with the seventh and eighth grades,” Deacon Mike Medley said. “Each student receives the iPad in a case with a Bluetooth key board and they’re required to keep them in the case and to care for them.”
An obvious fan of the technology himself, Deacon Medley is quick to point out the benefits of using the newest devices as teaching tools.
“A student used to, maybe, have a set of encyclopedias,” said Medley. “Now, every edition is available right at their fingertips. All their textbooks are loaded on them and homework is done on them, it even ‘dings’ as a reminder if something is missing. The assistance to the quality and speed of learning is amazing.”
Students are also made to recognize that the iPads are not playthings. “Each student and parent sign a separate contract detailing their responsibilities,” said Medley. “If they’re lost or broken, replacement is at their expense.”
Nonetheless, the importance of play is not forgotten. No games are loaded on the iPads unless they have an educational base, but in the words of Deacon Medley, several of the educational games are, “outstanding.” The iPads also come loaded with email access as well as the ability to instant message, text and facetime, which allows face-to-face contact with fellow students and teachers by accessing the computers’ cameras.
In another technological experiment at St. Tim’s, Wednesday envelopes are now sent out electronically, as well as being brought home by the students.
“We do have parents and businesses who sign up with their email addresses,” said Medley. “But many are not quite ready to give up the hard copy.”
Also new this year is the middle school staff addition of a new science and math teacher, Samantha Padellford.
“She’s exceptional,” Medley said. “She came from California to accept the position.” And in keeping with the technology of the times, her interview was held on facetime while she was still on the West Coast with the interviewers facing her on camera and her face projected onto an interactive white board.
In addition, longtime Maple Lake resident, Amy Loch, accepted a custodial post at the school this year.
“She keeps this place spotless,” Medley said. “I don’t know how she does it, but we’re very pleased; she takes good care of us.”
Enrollment is staying steady and, with kindergarten round-up coming up on March 5, everyone is looking forward to meeting the newest members of the St. Timothy’s School family.