Monroe County School Corporation will purchase about 800 iPads for six elementary schools in the district. Officials say the purchase will enhance student achievement, but some people are questioning whether it’s necessary. Sixth graders will be among the first students to get the iPads.
MCCSC Elementary Education Director Cameron Rains says the district was behind the times and this integration will help move students into the 21st century while allowing students to be more creative.
“Right now in a lot of our classrooms are tied to a paper and pencil and certainly we want to make sure that the students know how to use the paper and pencil well. We also want to open up new avenues of creation for them,” Rains said.
The district is using federal stimulus money to purchase the iPads. There will be 120 for staff members and 670 for students. Among other things, the devices will be used to provide electronic books and podcasts for students. MCCSC Director of Information Services Jason Taylor says there’s an array of applications that will assist the students in learning.
“There are applications that are custom built some that are out there it’s really becoming endless. Along with the development of iTunes U which is a lot of university content, but it’s trickling down into the K-12 setting,” Taylor said. “What we’ll do is look at achievement gaps in the districts and how we can use specific apps to target those gaps and improve.”
The stimulus funding will run out this fall semester. Meanwhile, Taylor says he hopes the iPads will be purchased by the end of the week.
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