Grade 8 is going 1-to-1! All grade 8 students will be given a new Samsung ATIV Pro slate computer on April 5th.  It’s been a long time coming, as we had hoped to have the tablets months ago, but with new devices becoming available and Microsoft’s switch to the new Windows 8 operating system they have only recently become available. So, what does this mean for our grade 8 students, teachers and parents?







Many of you had a sneak preview of the new Samsung ATIV Pro at the Middle School student-led conference on the 13th of March and had the opportunity to see the features of this device. It will be loaded with the Microsoft Office suite, Adobe CS6 Creative suite and a host of other educationally valuable software and apps. Currently in the middle school, technology is constantly being used by teachers and students to support learning and organization in the classrooms; however there are not enough devices to do this efficiently. Equipping each student with a personal slate computer to use in class and at home provides opportunities for teachers to integrate technology more authentically and seamlessly into the curriculum.

With access to a powerful tool comes great responsibility. To prepare students for the responsibility of using, managing and maintaining their new slate we are devoting the next two weeks to training them on appropriate use (Digital Citizenship), user agreements and procedures, the basics of Windows 8 and a variety of other skills necessary to operate their new Slate PC. On the day of the launch, students will attend sessions throughout the day to create digital products that represent what they have learned about digital citizenship and responsible use of technology. Their work will be displayed in our first ever Digital Citizenship Expo at the end of the day for all to see and learn from.

Parents, it’s an important day for you as well. You are invited to an informational session starting at 1:05pm (venue to be determined). During this session you will be going over the Slate PC terms of use, expectations, and general objectives that we are trying to accomplish. There will also be time for you to ask questions about the program. After this session, you will be invited to explore the Digital Citizenship Expo with your child in the grade eight classrooms. Following the Expo, we will be meeting in the Amphitheatre for closure and signing of terms of use and policy forms. In order for students to take their Slate PC home, all forms must be signed by a parent and returned to the student’s advisory teacher. Once the forms are signed and returned, the teacher will hand over the Slate PC to the student to take home.

For more information about the MS Slate PC initiative, the following resources are available:

AISJ 1-to-1 Website (see FAQs for specifics)

Middle School Blog (information and updates)

Grade 8 Blog             (soon to have resources for students)

Thank you and please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

Jason Westerbur
MS Technology Integration Coach