iPad Initiative


Hibbing Public Schools provides each student in grades K through twelve with an iPad. This program provides each student with powerful tools to aide in their learning, both in and out of the classroom. Students now have access to information and the ability to create materials in new and exciting ways, with increased opportunities for communication and collaboration.

Project Background

The district started looking into iPad programs in 2011. The district formed a Technology Focus Group and looked into several technologies, with the goal of determining a three-year technology plan. The Technology Focus Group determined that the district should prioritize iPads as the most effective technology. Members of the administration, school board, and faculty have visited schools, attended seminars, and researched various iPad initiatives.

Supporting an iPad initiative requires a significant investment of both time and money. While observing how other schools approached their iPad programs, we learned that successful iPad programs had some common characteristics:

  • iPads significantly change what happens in the classroom
  • It is important to determine what and how the iPads would be used for
  • Adequate training needs to be provided

In order to effectively utilize the investment an iPad initiative would require, we wanted to make sure our iPad Initiative met those goals.

Approval & Development

On January 23, 2013, the Hibbing Public School Board directed administration to bring back a plan which implemented iPads in grades three through six for the 2013-2014 school year, and grades seven through twelve for the 2014-2015 school year.

At the board meeting on February 6, 2013, the Hibbing Public School Board directed administration to implement a 1:1 iPad initiative for grades three through six for the 2013-2014 school year, based on the planning information submitted. The iPad Initiative will distribute an iPad to each teacher and student attending the Lincoln Elementary School (approximately 750 iPads). Students will take the iPads home for homework and assignments. To support the iPad Initiative, the district also began work on building a wireless network for the Lincoln Elementary School.

Earlier in the year, we implemented an iPad Pilot program in a 3rd grade classroom thanks to a grant from US Steel. We have been using this pilot program to help determine the best applications and services to effectively deliver curriculum using iPads.

We are currently researching applications, services and curriculum for the new iPad initiative. We are also working on developing a comprehensive training program to best prepare the staff for the new program.

Lincoln Elementary - Phase 1

The 1:1 iPad Initiative begins at the Lincoln Elementary School as part of the 2013-2014 school year. The district purchased over 700 iPads for students in grades three through six. The students will each receive an iPad that they can take home for school work.

Over the summer, the district installed and configured the wireless network infrastructure to support the program and enrolled the iPads into the management system.

We then provided five days of training to Lincoln staff to introduce them to tools they could use in the classroom for content creation, curriculum delivery, homework distribution, online virtual classrooms, and state testing preparation.

The Lincoln held a Parent Orientation day in which we talked about the Digital Learning Initiative and the students activated their iPads.

Giving each student their own iPad will transform the way curriculum is delivered in the classroom, and we are excited to see where this takes us!

Grades 7-8 plus K-2 - Phase 2

The district continues to expand its Digital Learning Initiative with the purchase of an additional 590 iPads for the 2014-2015 school year:

  • All teaching staff district wide will be assigned an iPad
  • Students in grades seven and eight will be assigned an iPad
  • The Washington and Greenhaven K-2 Elementary buildings will each receive an iPad cart, and each classroom will be assigned two iPads for curriculum augmentation
  • In February, the district purchased an additional two iPads for each classroom, bringing the total to four iPads per classroom in grades K through 2.

The district has purchased Accelerated Learning's Accelerated Reader and STAR Assessments systems.

We have also joined the Minnesota Partnership for Collaborative Curriculum, a grassroots initiative to create and provide digital curriculum based on Minnesota standards.

We will continue to support the Digital Learning Initiative with a strong training and support component. Teachers new to the 1:1 program will receive five days of training. Other teachers will receive two days of training for iPad basics and introductions to new technology services. We have also hired three new positions to help with technology instruction and technology integration.

Grades 9-12 - Phase 3

The district continues to expand its Digital Learning Initiative with the purchase of an additional 716 iPads for the 2015-2016 school year. This will provide students in grades nine through twelve with iPads.

The district has also purchased the Enterprise edition of Schoology to increase integration between the district's Student Information System and Learning Management System.

We will continue to support the Digital Learning Initiative with a strong training and support component. The district has increased Lincoln's Technology Integration Specialist to full time, and hired an additional District Technician. We have also built three training days into the 2015-2016 calendar.

Grades K-2 - Phase 4

The district continues to grow its Digital Learning Initiative by expanding iPad coverage into kindergarten through second grade. Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, every student in kindergarten through grade twelve will have their own iPad.

We will continue to support the Digital Learning Initiative with a strong training and support component. The district will be adding an additional District Technician to support our technology programs, and we continue to build three training days into the school calendar.

Curriculum Applications & Services

A successful iPad initiative goes beyond using the iPad as a web browser. We need to fully integrate the iPad into the curriculum. To accomplish this, we are researching best practices and determining effective applications and services to help deliver the district's curriculum. The district provides applications and services in several key areas:

Presentation Tools: The district uses several tools for presenting curriculum, including Reflector to display content from iPads onto interactive whiteboards, Apple Keynote, ExplainEverything, and G Suite for Education

Word Processing & Note Taking Tools: G Suite for Education, Apple Notes, Notability 

Assignment Workflow: To help manage the hand-out, hand-in, mark-up, hand-back of documents, the district uses Showbie and PDF Expert

Online Classroom/Learning Management Platform: The district uses Schoology Enterprise as its Learning Management System, for educational collaboration, online classroom activities, online quizzes, etc. We also have access to iTunes U

Assessment: The district uses Renaissance Learning's STAR Assessment tool to assess and monitor student progress.

Curriculum Delivery/Textbooks: Along with Schoology, the district is a member of the Minnesota Partnership for Collaborative Curriculum, which provides electronic curriculum aligned to state standards. The district also has Apple's iBooks Author for creating custom textbooks.

Library Services: The district uses Alexandria for its online card catalog system and Accelerated Reader for its reading program.

Student Response Systems: The district uses several online student response systems, pending on preference

Digital Learning Initiative Training

A successful Digital Learning Initiative requires more than the purchase of equipment and hardware. Once the district has researched and selected the the appropriate equipment, applications, and services, training must be provided to help teachers integrate the technology into the classroom.

Summer Training:
The Technology Department provides comprehensive training for the teachers over the summer to prepare them for the transition to the 1:1 iPad program. Five days of training covers everything from policies, basic setup, to creating virtual classrooms. We cover each application and service that the district has standardized on.

District Professional Development:
The District provides four days in the school year for professional development. We use a "train the trainer" model and send staff to conferences and other training opportunities throughout the school year.

Online Resources:
The Technology Department maintains a repository of Support Articles to help staff with common issues. The district also maintains a Professional Development course in Schoology with resources on a variety of topics, including training videos from Hoonuit Learning.

Ongoing Technology Integration Support:
Ongoing support is critical for a successful program. The district has staff in each building to provide Technology Integration training through ought the school year. 

Parent Resources for the Digital Learning iPad Initiative

Use the links below to find useful information related to the district's Digital Learning iPad Initiative.

Contact Us

Technology Department
Hibbing Public Schools
800 East 21st Street
Hibbing, MN   55746

Comments or questions?

Office Phone: (218) 208-0850
Director of Technology: Joel Anderson
Hibbing Public Schools,
Celebrating Success!