Harrisburg South Middle School (HSMS) is not your typical school. Learning is not simply contained within four walls and limited to people in the room. Instead, through the meaningful use of technology, the world is invited to join learners as they pursue not only academic gains but personal passions. Processes are valued as much as the outcome, but more importantly, the learners build relationships between facilitators, the local community, and the world and create a means for middle school learners to impact the world.  HSMS works to create and design experiences for learning and embraces problem-solving.  A culture of family, constant innovation, growth mindset, and lifelong learning - this is Harrisburg South Middle School.


They are the collective purpose at Harrisburg South Middle School (HSMS). The kids are the focal point of learning. Therefore, our learners drive the level of empowerment. Our learners create, not just consume. Creation begins each day with them scheduling their offerings to fit their educational needs. Teachers seek to impact each learner by connecting with them and communicating that they matter. This springboards a culture of empowerment as our learners better understand themselves and feel confident to make choices about their learning. This individualized path of learning continues in the classroom by demonstrating mastery of topics.  HSMS learners have design thinking courses to instill entrepreneurship.  The iPad is the stimulus to this creative learning and teaching environment. 

The action of learning connects to relationships.    These relationships unlock passions in our learners.  The catalyst to this process  - the iPad. With the use of the iPad and its ecosystem, learners collaborate with their peers, their community, and the world.  Teachers and learners collaborate to be designers in our culture.  

Learning begins with Daily Dish, raising learners’ voice and choice and intensifying diversity in learning by designing their schedule to fit their needs.   The level of critical thinking in forming their schedule produces greater advocacy building.  It also allows learners to travel in a personal pathway that promotes the most growth educationally.  

As learners engage in their journey, they follow a framework created by teachers: iLearn, iPractice, iMaster.  Mastery artifacts of learning are enhanced by the iPad.

    • Keynote - teachers create striking visuals 
    • Garage Band - creation of podcasts and lyrics projects
    • Clips - science safety videos 
    • iMovie - green screen app-smashing 
    • Stop Motion and Whiteboard Story projects using iPad tools

    Our teachers provide support and guidance for our learners to be successful with their creations by breaking down projects into manageable steps, pushing learners to explore creative aspects of applications, and helping learners problem-solve when needed. 

HSMS has created three Design Thinking courses to provide learners an entrepreneurial space to elevate learning agility.  Idea Foundry, Impact, and Venture allow our kids to connect with the world as they follow their passions. 


HSMS measures successful learning by reflection and conversations.  The soft skills of learning have piqued the interest of South Dakota State University to the point of creating a longitudinal research study of our school.  

The iPad redefines instruction for our teachers and learners.  iPad tools bring color to the landscape of learning by promoting creativity in products.  Learners create mastery products that reflect the ‘R’ in SAMR - Redefinition.

HSMS completed the Apple Learning Technologies Survey.  100% of teachers are Apple Teacher certified.  It also pointed to our positive reports using technology along with areas for growth.  HSMS shares classroom success on social media.  Learning artifacts are published for our stakeholders to view providing a window to creative processes.


Designing the future is gaining more focus each day.  We presently use and will grow our work with... 

    • Augmented Reality  
    • Virtual Reality Suite
    • Coding - SWIFT Playgrounds and content area work

Our design thinking courses will continue to challenge our learners to create and design non-profits and to be entrepreneurs.  HSMS has a strong network of personal connections from people around the world, as they serve as our ‘experts’ to gain empathy in their designing journey.  

Our learners will be impactors in our community.  Because we develop strong relationships, our kids have traveled to Utila, Honduras to do plastic pollution research and educate the local community.  In 2022 we will travel to Hawaii to expand our research with that community.