Personalized Learning Devices

students using iPads in math classThe 2016-17 school year will be H-B Woodlawn’s third year of participating in APS’s Personalized Devices Initiative. During the 2016-17 school year:

  • every Middle School student will have an iPad Air
  • every 9th, 10th & 11th grader will have a MacBook Air
  • students in the beginning HILT classes will leave their laptops on carts in the classrooms while students in more advanced classes will receive a MacBook Air to use in all their classes

At H-B Woodlawn we feel that students can make the best use of these devices by bringing them to each class daily and taking them home every day to continue their learning in the evening.

Students are expected to charge their device each evening so they can be used in classes the following day.  To avoid losing the expensive chargers, they should stay home.  Families are encouraged to set up a charging station at a convenient location in the home so devices are ready for school each morning.  Devices that arrive at school fully-charged should last all day.


The initiative is rooted in the district’s mission: “Arlington Public Schools instills a love of learning in its students and prepares them to be responsible and productive global citizens.” To prepare students for an ever-changing world, APS recognizes the need to engage students in learning experiences that prepare them for the world in which we live. To meet that goal, which is part of our 2011-17 APS Strategic Plan, our teachers are committed to fostering a personalized learning environment where each student is challenged and engaged in relevant and meaningful learning.

Benefits of Personalized Learning

While personalized learning is not new, technology is helping us to make greater strides toward this goal, and we see many wonderful benefits.

  • Classrooms are student-centered and the teacher’s role is as facilitator to guide learning rather than just being a gatekeeper or a single source of knowledge.
  • Through personalized learning, students are challenged to think critically and use higher order level skills.
  • Students are more engaged in learning when they are given more opportunities to take control of their learning.
  • Teachers are able to offer immediate feedback so that students can make adjustments to their thinking and improve on their work.
  • With collaboration tools, students and teachers are able to communicate easily both inside and outside of school.
  • Students are exploring more creative ways to solve problems, express their ideas, generate new learning and develop skills to work as part of a team in the classroom and virtually.

These are the skills needed for success in college and careers in the 21st Century and APS is proud to offer students these high-quality learning experiences to prepare our students for their lives beyond high school.
For more information read the page on Expectations and Responsibilities when using Personalized Devices and see the APS Personalized Device Handbook and Personalized Learning Family Resources page.