SRI Authors: Andrea D. Beesley
Beesley, A. (2021). The Apple and ConnectED Initiative: Three Case Stories. SRI Education.
These case stories intend to give an in-depth look at each school’s setting and the details of how ConnectED unfolded in each of the following places: Compton, California; Tuskegee, Alabama; and Orondo, Washington.
The Apple and ConnectED Initiative offered a unique opportunity to study technology adoption across a wide range of traditionally under-resourced communities. These case stories describe ConnectED in Compton, California; Tuskegee, Alabama; and Orondo, Washington. They are part of an independent 6-year research study conducted by SRI International that investigates both implementation and outcomes of the Apple and ConnectED Initiative. Fifteen of the 114 schools were selected for site visits from spring 2016 to fall 2017 (wave 1) and then from fall 2018 to spring 2019 (wave 2). The three schools whose stories are presented here were part of that group of 15. Quotes in the stories are from site visit interviews and phone interviews with teachers, principals, and other school staff, unless otherwise noted.
The case stories are intended to give an in-depth look at each school’s setting and the details of how ConnectED unfolded in each place. We hope that readers who are implementing a 1:1 device program will find something that resonates with their own schools in each story, and benefit from leaning about their experiences. Each case story includes background on the school and community context, the school’s goals for ConnectED, how the iPad devices were integrated into instruction, and factors in program sustainability. They also include aspects of ConnectED that were particular to each school, including the role of iPad devices in afterschool programs, differentiating both teacher and student learning, parent and community involvement, and fostering creativity.
The site visits to prepare for the case stories ended in spring 2019. In spring 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused schools to shut down and then resume in a virtual format. The case story epilogue, based on interviews conducted in 2021, explores how these schools coped with emergency online instruction and how they sustained their programs.