Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School Surprises Students With iPad Giveaway

Philadelphia, PA, September 8, 2011 -  String Theory Schools, the non-profit education management organization for the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School, announced today the rollout of a one-to-one iPad initiative for all 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students at Performing Arts Charter School, located in South Philadelphia.

“Our program is very unique for several reasons”, states Angela Corosanite, CEO of String Theory.  “More than 200 students will be getting their own iPad to take home with them in the evening that will be their’s for the entire year. We realized that in order to utilize these devices to their fullest, we had to let the kids take them home. That way, they can use them to study and do homework.” Angela says.

“Creating a seamless classroom experience was no easy task. Out of the box, the iPads are a nice addition to the school, but we wanted to push the envelope with what is being done with them. That required creating custom apps for the school and doing some software development to manage the devices when they are off-premises. Security was a big concern and we needed to ensure that the children could not access inappropriate material on the devices once they left the security of our school’s network. We were able to create, in essence, a ‘geo-fence‘ around the school. When the students are on-campus and logged into our school’s network, which filters content, they can use the internet for classroom use. However, once the devices leave the building, the web browser is dynamically turned off and they can only access our custom built apps that connect to their classroom content. When we were looking at ways to make this work, the solution did not exist in the commercial marketplace. That meant we had to develop it ourselves. I know of no other school in the country that has pushed the technology this hard or far.”

“Our school is an academy model” says Mrs. Corosanite, “…where children have seven extra classes per week including Ballet, Vocal, Instrumental, Visual Arts, Creative Writing, French, and Science. The integration of the arts, science, math, and technology is what String Theory Schools is all about. The iPad initiate will permeate the entire curriculum. String and Vocal majors will be using them to read and create music, Visual Arts students will be drawing the structure of the human frame on them, and the Science lab will actually connect them to microscopes. We are doing things that no one else is. It’s magical.”

String Theory Schools consists of the management team that founded Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School. Building upon the success of Performing Arts, its goal is now to duplicate that model in other communities around the state and possibly the country.