After researching best practices in the area of technology and studying the way that today’s student learns best, the leadership and faculty at Holland Christian developed the 1:1 Laptop Initiative in 2005. Almost 20 years later, HCS students in grades K-4 each have access to an iPad, and over 1000 5th-12th grade students each receive a Macbook Air.
At Holland Christian, technology has become a critical tool in equipping students to transform their world for Jesus Christ.
Our 1:1 Laptop Program
The 1:1 Laptop Program was piloted in 2005-2006 with 140 HC 6th graders. After great success and tremendous encouragement from parents, the program grew by 1-2 grades per year until it was fully implemented in 6th-12th grade in 2009. Our goals for the 1:1 Laptop Program have remained the same: We’re committed to equipping students with the latest technology skills and teaching them discernment, with ethical use of technology. Another goal has been to model current best practices in education by differentiating instruction, developing anytime anywhere learning, widening community and communication, and developing life-long learners.
Enter a global pandemic
A commitment to these goals helped us flip our complete Holland Christian School district over a single weekend, literally, from normal in-person to virtual learning at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re incredibly proud of our staff and how well they knew both their technology and their students in order to continue to educate so effectively and heartily throughout the virtual learning of 2020 and 2021!
Certainly the technology has changed over the years, as well as a few of our applications. But our technology goals have remained the same:
- Each student, guided by a teacher, will create a positive digital footprint to impact the world for Jesus Christ.
- Each learning environment will be personalized to the needs and God given talents of the students.
- Each student, teacher, and administrator will connect, communicate, and collaborate with the greater community and the world consistently.
Tech coaching for teachers
Equipping teachers with hands-on training has been an important piece of the 1:1 Program. In order to model best practices, Holland Christian faculty participate in a variety of training sessions. One type of training is “Tech Coaching,” when teachers set technology integration goals for the year and work together to plan and design lessons for students that integrate technology seamlessly into their curriculum. The intent is to introduce new technology to teachers at their own pace, creating “just in time” learning rather than “just in case.”
HCS teachers receive additional training and support with regular after school training sessions where they are introduced to new ideas and techniques in the area of technology. If a teacher is interested in more in-depth training, they then meet with their Technology Integration faculty for additional information and training.
Apple Distinguished Program
Holland Christian Schools was named an Apple Distinguished School and/or Program from 2009-2019, a decade when Holland Christian Schools focused on growth and recognition as technological leaders in the Christian educational field.
The Apple Distinguished Program designation was reserved for programs that meet certain criteria for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence, and demonstrated a clear vision of exemplary learning environments. We are proud to have been awarded this recognition repeatedly over the past decade!
Moving beyond ADP
The selection of Holland Christian Schools as an Apple Distinguished Program highlighted the system’s success as an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic accomplishment. Whether conducting experiments for Holland area energy initiatives, Zooming with missionaries around the world, or exploring animal habitats through virtual tours, the intentional incorporation of technology has allowed our teachers to expand classroom walls, allowing students to access information, experts, and experiences that enrich and deepen their learning.
With the changes in the Apple Distinguished Program, as well as our own growth and changes through a global pandemic, we believe we have moved beyond needing to put the time and effort into obtaining this award currently. We do, however, continue to grow and share our technological successes both in the classroom and within the expanded education community!
We look forward to meeting you and your family and introducing you to the fresh, creative, personalized education at Holland Christian! We are here to help! Get in touch us using our contact form linked below or call us at 616.820.2805.