At Holland Christian, technology has become a critical tool in equipping students to transform their world for Jesus Christ. 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. The goals of the program include equipping students with the latest technology skills and teaching them discernment and the ethical use of technology. Another important goal is to model current best practices in education by differentiating instruction, developing anytime anywhere learning, widening community and communication, and developing life-long learners. As a Christian School, the faculty at Holland Christian is committed to developing these goals to equip the next generation to transform the world for Jesus Christ.
The 1:1 Laptop Program was piloted in 2005-2006 with 140 6th graders. After great success and tremendous encouragement from parents, the program grew by one to two grades per year until it was fully implemented in 6th-12th grade in 2009. For the 2019-2020 school year, more than 1,400 students in 5th-12th grades at Holland Christian and Zeeland Christian Schools are equipped with their own laptop computers.
Equipping teachers with hands-on training is an important piece of the 1:1 Program. In order to model best practices, the faculty at Holland Christian participate in a variety of training sessions. One type of training is “Tech Coaching.” 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 individual pace, creating “just in time” learning rather than “just in case.” The Technology Integration Specialists also meet with grade level teams and departments to implement technology tools for their specific needs. Teachers receive additional training and support with after school training sessions. At these sessions teachers are introduced to new ideas 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.
- Goal 1: Each student, guided by a teacher, will create a positive digital footprint to impact the world for Jesus Christ.
- Goal 2: Each learning environment will be personalized to the needs and God given talents of the students.
- Goal 3: Each student, teacher, and administrator will connect, communicate, and collaborate with the greater community and the world consistently.
/ Apple Distinguished Since 2009
Holland Christian Schools has been named an Apple Distinguished School and/or Program since 2009. Most recently it has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished Program for 2017–2019 for its K-12 1:1 program that puts Apple devices in the hands of each student. At Holland Christian Schools, students in grades K-4 each have access to an iPad, and 5th-12th grade students each receive a Macbook Air.
The Apple Distinguished Program designation is reserved for programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence, and demonstrate a clear vision of exemplary learning environments.
The selection of Holland Christian Schools as an Apple Distinguished Program highlights 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 the Holland area, energy initiatives or Skyping with mission workers around the world or exploring animal habitats through virtual tours, the intentional incorporation of technology has allowed our teachers to expand the walls of their classrooms, allowing students to access information, experts, and experiences that enrich and deepen their learning.
We are continuously growing and sharing our successes both in the classroom and within the expanded education community.
“Numbers wise, we are a big school. But it doesn’t feel like it when you walk the halls here. I recognize the majority of people I pass and know them by name most of the time. We are in community with each other and the school does a good job of promoting that.”