Learn more about 1:1 technology with STEM School Chattanooga

At STEM School Chattanooga our primary focus is on moving education from a teacher directed and disseminated environment to a student owned and centered learning experience. In order to make this transition, it is vital for students to own the technology and information. So we have flipped the paradigm of the classroom so that the student is in control of the knowledge and information, as opposed to the teacher.

STEM School Chattanooga has a 1-to-1 structure in our school. A 1-to-1 structure is where there is one personal computer or computing device for every student. At STEM School Chattanooga, every student has an iPad that the student uses 24/7. This provides each student with individual access to the Internet, content applications, educational apps and programs, social media, and other information sources or applications.

Advantages of 1-to-1 technology access include:

  • Permits the student to have control over his or her own education. Students can get information themselves, rather than waiting for the teacher to access or dispense information.
  • Puts the teacher in a facilitator role. This frees classroom time up from the traditional “sit and get” structure. Teachers are able to focus on guiding students through information and students are active workers. Students ultimately learn how to interpret and then use the information they have gathered. Students also can spend time figuring out how to utilize the information, take time to process the information, and finally apply the information.
  • Promotes collaboration. Despite concerns that a personal computing device will isolate students from each other, the technology actually encourages collaboration. Students share information, find helpful resources that multiple students can use, and practice taking varying pieces of research from multiple students and combining the research into a singular group document.

We want students to be self-reliant in gathering information, to be skilled in accessing even greater information, to be able to comprehend and process the information, and then to utilize the information in new and innovative ways. 1-to-1 technology is the lever for providing the avenue to make this change a reality in every classroom, every day.

Below is a list that was put together after just five months of student 1-to-1 iPad use. It is important to note that the goal is to move from dependence of a teacher for individual and group success to student’s owning their learning and being in control of that learning.  In traditional settings, students are reliant on teachers to provide whole class instruction to supply the students with the content information at hopefully the right time.  In a 1-to-1 setting used appropriately, students are no longer dependent on the one person standing in front of the classroom nor limited to a finite piece of time, but can access, use, and apply information collaboratively and have real control over their learning.  Teachers teach students critical thinking and students become critical thinkers, readers, writers, and presenters throughout their school day.

Apps used daily in our high school:

  • Apps Gone Free: Find the latest apps on sale or free for the day
  • Calendar: Sync dates, alerts, and reminders across all platforms
  • Camera: Quickly captures audio and video recordings
  • Edmodo: Provides a safe and easy way to connect and collaborate, share content, access homework, and share school notices
  • Evernote: Cloud-based app used for archiving and sharing documents across platforms
  • GoodNotes: Note-taking and Annotation app for PDFs
  • HMH Fuse book app: Math textbook in an interactive app using videos, practice problems, and formative assessment
  • iBooks: App used to download books from iTunes books store
  • iMovie: Create and edit videos
  • iTunes: Access to apps, music, books etc. from the Apples iTunes store
  • Keynote: Create multimedia presentations
  • Notes: Simple note taking app
  • Pages: Word Processing for papers, letters, and all documents
  • Photoshop Touch: Create and edit digital photographs
  • Power School: Easy access to grades, comments, and progress from teachers to students
  • Prezi: Create online multimedia timelines and presentations
  • Puffin or Photon Browsers: Web browsers for Flash media
  • Safari Browser: Browse the Web
  • TED: iPad explorer and player for TED videos
  • Titan player: Watch videos offline without internet
  • Wolfram Alpha: Access facts and calculate answers across topics in science, math, engineering, and other subject areas
  • Youtube: Access to content and instructional videos

Comments from students on the most useful apps:

  • Evernote helps with organization. It is where we turn in most of the work we do for teachers. It is helpful for taking notes for a class, and you can save the settings to share work with the teacher of any class. Teachers can then download and write feedback directly on our work, then put the file back in Evernote for us. You can even backup the storage in Evernote on iCloud. That way if you somehow accidentally erase data, you will still have whatever you saved in iCloud from Evernote.
  • Edmodo is useful because it is where we get the bulk of our assignments. They are posted there weekly, even daily, and it is an easy way to see what is due for a teacher and when it is due. This helps us keep all of our assignments organized by date and when to turn them in. It also reminds us when assignments are late. It is an easy way to communicate not only to your teachers if you need help, but you can also ask other students for help or clarification on assignments.
  • Goodnotes is an awesome app because it allows you to write on pdfs, pictures, or even word documents that you have to submit for teachers. It is very good for subjects like math, where you have to write down your answers. It is kind of the loophole to us being a “paperless environment”. It is not really writing on paper, but it gives you a similar experience to writing on paper. You can also highlight books and complete digital worksheets with this app.
  • Pages is a useful app for when you have to do a paper of some sort for a class. It gives you the different sizes of texts, and the different fonts to you can use in a paper. You can customize virtually every word in a paper if you wanted to with this app. It is helpful because most English or History papers require Times New Roman style font with size 12 letters, so you can customize it to where it automatically makes your words that size and style.
  • TED is like an educational YouTube filled with valuable information. TED is a useful app because it will show you all of the amazing things that people are doing and working on in this world today. TED lectures will show you many amazing things and even teach you about many topics that you have not even known existed.
  • Titan player is a useful app because it lets you download videos off YouTube and any other video site. I use this app for downloading videos for school to watch without internet later at home.
  • Apps Gone Free allows us to look at all the cool apps that are free or on sale and maybe find some apps that will help us individually with our school work or some that we think are just fun at a discounted price.
  • Photoshop Touch is a very useful app to me, as it is pretty quick and easy to use, and it comes with just about the same features as the Windows Photoshop 11 does. It makes it rather easy to photoshop my images, as I can use my finger to “lasso” the picture. PS Touch has been helpful to me in school on multiple occasions.


STEM School Chattanooga is a Platform School of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network.

Download the video above via the NE Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub’s Vimeo channel: http://vimeo.com/user16164848/videos