iPads take over classrooms

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  iPhones, iPods, iPads… it seems every time we turn around a new type of technology is coming out, and now it is making its way into local schools.

News Leader 9 found out it's not only students, but some administrators in Phenix City are using iPads to work more efficiently.

Schools in both Phenix City and Muscogee County are getting iPads in the classroom thanks to federal funding and technology budgets. Students can keep up with the latest advances and use the devices as a learning tool.

These first graders are being taught by high school students how to use i-Pads. Northside High School senior Sarah Hawk said, "Definitely technology has changed, especially since I was in the first grade. I feel like it's a positive thing we have it. The more it's incorporated in class, since it's around everywhere, and it's best for the students."

Chas Rivers is also a senior at Northside High School. He added, "It's a small tablet that you can put in your lap, and get up and take with you. When you're taking notes it can travel with you, you can search the web just as fast as a normal computer. You can have all kinds of applications you can search through and they are all there."

Not only are the students using them for virtually every aspect of their education, but teachers are using iPads as a tool to teach about the future of technology.

"Usually education wants to see something proven as a technology before they invest in it, because you're spending public money to do so. With the growth of the tablet market and the variety of tablets out there, education will come right up behind that," explained Ryan McCann, a computer teacher at Northside.

Even administrators are using iPads to go paperless, using the device to hold copies of important documents and send instant responses to teachers.

Assistant Principal of Central Freshman Academy in Phenix City, Jason Stamp said, "We're fortunate that we're able to have these. It does make our jobs a lot easier. When you see the kids using it, we only have 12, but when the kids use it they have more motivation. They want to use them and they're learning without even realizing it. That's what I like about it."

But many may ask, who's footing the bill for these new devices? Phenix City Superintendent Dr. Larry DiChiara tells us his schools were able to purchase the iPads through three different areas.

The first is from federal funding, the second is a budget already set for technology departments in the school district, and the third is a government reimbursement slated for the purchase of new technology.

Stamp added, "Instead of spending money on just one particular item that does one things, you can spend that same amount of money on something that will do a lot more. I've tried to use it ever way I can and it's made my job and me more efficient. I can do things a lot quicker and it's been a blessing."

Many of the schools in Phenix City also have mobile labs so that students and teachers can check out the iPads for lessons in the classroom.

Some teachers mentioned the fact that one day iPads may replace textbooks completely in the classroom.

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