OTIS — USD 403 Otis-Bison School District rolled out its iPad initiative for the second grade classroom this Thursday as a part of the continuing move towards the use of technology. Each student received an iPad Mini for use in the classroom. The iPad Mini is a tablet that has a smaller screen size as compared to a regular iPad tablet.
The second graders will each have their own iPad to use while the rest of the elementary school as 3-6 iPads per classroom. The students will not be allowed to take home the iPads at night. Starting in sixth grade, there is a one-to-one ratio of iPads to students in the district.
“The students in our second grade classroom have been given an amazing opportunity to be in a one-to-one iPad learning environment,” said Lori Kohls, second grade teacher. “The ways the iPad Minis can be utilized to support and enhance learning are endless.
“The students will be involved in individual and cooperative group projects on the iPads, including: writing and illustrating stories, creating reports and much more,” she said. “One of our apps will allow students to record their voices while reading, which in turn, will be a monitoring tool for teachers and parents to gain a better understanding of the child’s strengths in reading as well as areas needing attention.”
Kohls also said that another app they will use allows students to create short instructional videos to share with their classmates.
“The students are so excited to begin this journey,” she said. “As a teacher, it is such an inspiration to see the students motivation towards using what they already know, learning new concepts, and enhancing the combination of these things with such a great technology tool.”
“In today’s world of global competition, it is important that our students not only succeed in areas which have long been considered traditional components of education, but also vital that our students access learning opportunities with the tools used in the real world,” said Milt Dougherty, superintendent of the Otis-Bison School District. “As our focus moves from teaching to learning, our school board has challenged us to give our students every opportunity to be more than just competitive both inside and outside of our school walls.”