For Gifford, being able to bring technology like this to the youngest students can only help them achieve success in the years ahead. She said even the youngest ones are getting very smart with their technology.
“Technology is their world,” she said. “And they help me.”
Gifford said the nice thing about the iPad is that children can work as individuals or in groups, and can move at their own pace.
“They are just good for everybody,” she said.
High school students had a chance to pilot their own iPads last year. Juniors and seniors in Advanced Placement environmental science used the devices as part of a pilot program to bring new teaching styles and new technology into the classroom.
That program is still successful, assistant superintendent Andrew Corey said.
In the past, smart boards and digital cameras have been introduced to students; the iPad is the newest addition to the family.
“We are so appreciative of the School Board’s approval of added technology,” Boyd said.
Moose Hill School kindergarten coordinator Bonnie Breithaupt said many of her students have iPads at home and come to school very prepared. Others don’t have access outside school, but are doing well.
“It’s amazing how fast they pick it up,” Breithaupt said. “Many are also very used to the technology and how it works.”
She said Moose Hill spends special time on Fridays teaching children the different “apps” available like simple math and how to form letters.
“It’s just one more tool we are using to teach our standards,” she said.
Greenberg said teachers and administration will use what the students are learning on the iPads as they plan for their classrooms and what technology might be useful for certain age groups.
Corey said he meets regularly with teachers to go over the iPad success in the lower grades. It’s a way to gauge how the children are learning.
“We have a series of questions we look at,” he said. “We look at a variety of things.”
Boyd said technology staff member Jo Oswald is supporting the South School efforts and is designing an assessment tool to gauge the effectiveness of the device in the classroom.
“We certainly need more time before we can make any judgments,” she said.