Every day, technology continues to grow in every aspect of our lives and the Little Falls School City District has taken advantage of the 21st century by exploring the element of learning through the iPad.
This year students have the opportunity to experience a new way of learning in the classroom thanks to three new iPad carts distributed throughout the district’s three schools. Each cart holds 30 iPads that can be connected to a MacBook Pro laptop for charging and downloading apps and books.
At the high school, students in Alexandra Puznowski’s Spanish class use the iPad during each lesson.
As Puznowski uses a SMART Board and Airliner, which allows her to control the board and move around the room to direct the lesson, students complete in-class assignments by using the iPad.
Once the students finish the lesson they then submit it directly to Puznowski.
“Each student is signed on to the lesson and since they use individual accounts, I know who completed the assignment,” said Puznowski.
She said the iPad allows her to use student completed work as a tool to show examples without revealing the identity of the student who completed the work.
Since the students began using the iPad learning in the classroom has improved, Puznowski said.
“The students really enjoy electronics and the iPad is an interest to them. Because it is a more hands on approach to learning, the students seem to learn a lot faster,” she said.
The iPads were ordered through the district’s multiyear plan and introduced to the school in October 2012.
Little Falls High School Assistant Principal and Technology Coordinator Leeann Dooley said the iPads are a pilot program to see how student learning is affected in the classroom.
“There is going to be a shift in education and the use of technology, and I just want to offer students and faculty the most up-to-date technological advancements available,” she said.
Another cart of 30 iPads is shared between students in the high school and middle school library.
Library media specialist Emily Gibson uses the iPads to work with students on projects during reserved library class. During the class students seem to become more focused, said Dooley.
“I’ll see the students walk into the library and they will start doing research and answering questions almost immediately. It’s definitely a positive,” she said.
At Benton Hall Academy, first grade teacher Tracy Young teaches with the only iPad cart in the school as a pilot program for younger students. Every day Young uses learning apps to teach students a variety of subjects ranging from math, reading and music. Many of the apps used to teach the students are free and easy to download to student iPads in a matter of minutes.
Page 2 of 2 - Young said she loves the iPads, not only because they are a good learning tool, but because they also teach responsibility. “If a student is not being responsible and behaving in a bad manner they have to sit out of the iPad lesson for the day,” she said.
According to Young, this has only happened twice since using the iPads.
“I explain to them if they want to use the iPads they have to be responsible,” she said.
Young said she plans on using an app known as Spelling Board, which will allow students to take a spelling test on the iPad. Once her students become more familiar with the technology Young said she hopes to spend an entire day teaching on the iPad.