Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 11 June 2010 00:00
The Mineola School District announced at its workshop meeting on June 2 that the Jackson Avenue School would receive 100 iPads for the 2010-2011 school year. There are approximately 82 students and 10 teachers at the school. Optional keypads will be available for in-school use only. The teachers will receive iPads over the course of the next three months and the students will receive them in September.
The iPads will be rented out to each student to use at home as a learning tool and to aid them in the transition of the ever-growing area of technology. School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Nagler said he and the minds behind the initiative posed it to the teachers as a challenge to teach on a small scale without the use of traditional education tools. He iterated that kids interact differently today than they did yesterday and that it’s important to embrace that to create a solid learning experience.
Last month, the Board of Education announced that it would implement new ways of moving with the daily evolution of technology. This iPad distribution idea will give students a chance to learn with tools that they did not have access to before.
“I presented a challenge to the fifth grade teachers [at Jackson] to teach without the use of notebooks, pens, textbooks in some instances,” Nagler said. “Using these tools like the iPad gives both the students and teachers a chance to use a state-of-the-art machine. I won’t be surprised if the students start teaching the teachers how to use it come September.”
Students will be able to take the iPad home and use it to do schoolwork on and to better their ability of learning in and outside the classroom. “This is really putting us on the path and in front of really exciting educational change and I’m very happy to bring this initiative forward,” Nagler stated.
Nagler said there’s still a lot to learn, considering it’s impossible to predict where this technology will be in the long term, considering technology evolves by the day. With the increased use of technology in the classroom, Nagler felt it was a step in the right direction in, “moving with the times. It’s going to be exciting.”
The board plans to make this iPad initiative districtwide if it’s successful at Jackson Avenue. The board said that insurance forms will be required to be signed by parents and students when the iPads are issued for use. Nagler said he’s not worried about them being damaged.
“In my experience, when you give students responsibility to something special, they rise to the occasion. I think this is going to go over very well with the kids learning with the best tools to date,” Nagler said.