ELLINWOOD — USD 355 began a full roll out of one-on-one iPad to student from kindergarten to 12th grade this fall, and so far, it has changed up learning for the kids. From music class to English to science, the students are using the tablet.
iPads have a touch screen and virtual keyboard that students can use to take photos, shoot video, play music and access the internet.
Sixth graders in Angela Peterson’s class have become digital leaders for the school and are sent to other grades to help younger students with email problems and settings, called iBuddies. The students have found it empowering.
The students also assist Peterson. “They teach me all of the time,” she said. “This makes sense to them.”
Peterson makes full use of the iPad and assigns work, videos and websites to visit for school work. The students have an app they can use where they write with their finger.
The kids will create a digital portfolio for all of their work that will follow them all of the way through school, which parents can access online.
The sixth graders were all in agreement that the tablet is more fun than a piece of paper.
Fifth graders in Lisa Reser’s class have used the iPad to make movies using a program called iMovie. The movies are ended with kid’s name as credits and set to music.
They have also researched Native Americans, specifically Intuits, online. The use of a hard back encyclopedia is no more.
Putting their knowledge to use, Reser’s class made a Pie for Parkinson’s movie, where the teacher took a pie in the face to raise money for Parkinson’s disease.
Another teacher, music teacher Shelly Ramsey uses iPad apps to train students in music basics such as tempo.
“They think it’s a game,” said Ramsey. “It’s one-on-one interaction that has different levels. The next level gets harder.”
Each student works at their own level until they master it and then move on to the next.
The students have been fully engaged and Principal Eric Sjogren reports there have been fewer issues with student behavior and time spent in the principal’s office.
Visitors to EGS can take a virtual tour of the school with the use of a QR code, located by the main office. It was made by the fifth graders last year for the Teachers of the Year tour.