We’ve read about colleges across the US getting the iPad into classrooms, but what’s happening at the K-12 level? These two recent news items give us a gist of the mood in schools towards the iPad and mobile learning.
Math Students Utilize iPads, Go Down In History
Some math students at Washington Middle School and Hudson K-8 in Long Beach Unified School District were welcomed back to school Wednesday with new Apple iPads loaded with the first-ever full-curriculum algebra application.
“This is the first day of school and the first day of you being part of history,” California Secretary of Education Bonnie Reiss told the students at Washington Middle School in north Long Beach.
Reiss compared the application of the iPad in algebra class to a statement written on a mural at the middle school. She said the technology is a single step along the 1,000-step journey towards giving students modern tools to enhance learning, something Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has promoted.
District to Give iPads to Fifth Graders
For four fifth grade classes at the Jackson Avenue School, the phrase “no more pencils, no more books,” took on a whole new meaning Tuesday morning. With about 80 students gathered in the school cafeteria, Mineola school Superintendent Dr. Michael Nagler announced a new initiative that will provide each of them with an Apple iPad for the duration of the school year.
“This is an experiment,” he said. “It is to see if this is a new way of teaching and of learning. You are going to be a part of something that hasn’t been done before.” The district has purchased about 100 of the devices which connect to the internet wirelessly. The approximate retail price for each iPad is around $500.
According to Nagler, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger launched a “ripple effect across the country” with his Free Digital Textbook Initiative, where schools are able to cost-effectively incorporate technology into academia. Nagler feels his iPad initiative will aid a “new generation of students,” helping them learn the skills necessary for their futures. Jackson Avenue School principal Matthew Gaven believed that Mineola is the first school district to have an iPad program on such a large scale.
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