- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
- Israel’s ambassador praises Obama, slams Human Rights Watch report
Tablet computers helping middle-schoolers learn
Question of the Day
FRISCO, Colo. (AP) - In Marguerite Ritchey’s classroom at Frisco Elementary, photos of beavers building dams flashed across the small screen. Sixth-grade student Chloe Krasowski held an iPad in her hands, telling her small group of first-graders all about the animal’s habitat.
The middle school has five carts of iPads, some regular and some mini - enough for a classroom to check out. Teachers can sign up for a day, or just a class period with the tablets.
Bethann Huston, sixth-grade English language specialist at Summit Middle School, said the carts are all housed in different hallways, providing easy access for teachers. Even electives, such as Spanish and art, have a cart in their wing.
“We’re using this technology in all different ways, in all different content areas,” she said.
Huston originally thought of bringing the presentations to the elementary school last year, when her son was in first grade at Frisco.
For the initial animal projects, students did more traditional research in the library, Huston said, using books, encyclopedias and computer databases. Students then wrote a research essay and presented their findings to the class. It was all linked to the recent science curriculum about animals and ecosystems.
“We want to be interdisciplinary, build on concepts and expand their learning,” Huston said. “As much as we can really be moving in that direction, we want to expand learning in other content as well.”
Students then selected an animal to research more in depth for the iPad slideshow presentations. The first-grade classrooms had just finished a unit about animals too, so the timing worked out well.
“It’s refreshing to see,” Ritchey said. “It’s very nice to have to reinforce some things we’ve already been learning about.”
The iPads can help with quick research projects in the classroom. Some teachers assign a quiz to check in on what the students are supposed to be learning, immediately getting feedback. Language learners use apps and programs, while math games help to brush up on skills.
While the tablets can help with organization in the classroom and other logistics, the middle school is striving to make the technology transform the way learning happens.
“The next level is to integrate technology,” Huston said. “It works on the standards of oral presentation and listening, presenting in classrooms with peers, but then to go outside and find an authentic audience.”
The school infrastructure needs a strong network, with good Internet speeds for multiple classrooms getting wired in. There is the cost of the iPads themselves, and any additional applications. However, there are some savings by using digital textbooks instead of more traditional ink and paper ones.
“People in the district have really embraced it,” Huston said. “It’s one small simple thing we’re doing.”
TWT Video Picks
U.S. appetite for drugs begets violence migrants are fleeing
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- Rick Perry: County jails in Texas have taken in 203,000 "criminal aliens"
- Hamas terrorists wear Israeli army uniforms to ambush soldiers in Gaza
- ISTOOK: The secret is out: 'Unaccompanied minors' are only one-fourth of illegal border-crossers
- Jewish woman booted from JetBlue flight over fight with Palestinian
- Tony Dungy doubles down on Michael Sam remarks: 'Drafting him would bring much distraction'
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- Rep. Jared Polis' anti-fracking crusade riles Colorado
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq