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Grand Island high school students go digital with iPads
Districts across the nation are quickly adopting digital learning as the new classroom curriculum and doing away with textbooks. News 5's Dara Newson shows us how the movement has finally made its way to Grand Island Senior High.
There was a day when teachers conducted roll call for student attendance or assignment handouts. In the 21st century they're lining up for Ipads.
"What you're seeing is 18 months of work finally coming together today; it's a learning initiative this is about making sure that kids have the very best opportunity to learn in their world today," said Josh McDowell.
McDowell is the Director for the Grand Island Public Schools 21st Century teaching and learning program.
Instead of purchasing new textbooks the district used the money to buy the iPads.
As the digital world increasingly over shadows old fashion teaching styles, classroom text books are quickly becoming obsolete.
"Now when these kids go to their science classes they're simply taking their iPad with them and everything they need for that science class is on that iPad," said McDowell.
Eleven hundred iPads were passed out Thursday to students in Science 1 and 2 Biology, Honors Biology and Environmental Science received one, but before students are issued an iPad they must agree to some terms.
"This is not your personal iPad. This is school owned so if you do inappropriate things on there, they are more than welcome to go look through your pictures, messages, anything," said Amy Boyer.
Ninth grade Science teacher Amy Boyer lays down the rules for the $500 gadgets.
"Just with anything text books, they're always fined for a text book, it's just the same thing, just a higher importance now to get signed up with that insurance plan. As long as they're with the insurance plan if they pay the $15 then the first incident whether its lost or broken is $10," said Boyer.
The voluntary protection plan will ease the financial impact.
Students are ready for the responsibility, but some are just relieved to get rid of the science books.
"We don't have to use text books anymore," said Quentin Leetch.
"Using it will help get rid of the text books, and being able to get stuff done faster because we can do our homework on it," said Cassidy Hayman.
Thursday was just Phase I of the project. Phase II will start in August when the rest of the student body and middle school teachers will receive iPads.
The director says after August Grand Island Public Schools will talk about a vision for middle schools.
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