School Shows Off iPad Success

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 3:21pm

Virginia educators consider expanding use of tablets to more classrooms.

For Mr. Spencer's seventh grade class, using the iPad in class is an everyday experience, but for the dozens of Virginia educational administrators looking on, it was a whole new kind of learning.

School leaders traveled from all over the state last spring to check out Henry County's cutting edge approach.

Seventh Grader Paige Rigney says she likes the iPads because she says textbooks can be boring.

"Me, I can't really understand all of it and these power points break all of it down into a much easier stance to understand,” said Rigney.

Many of her classes have their books downloaded to the iPad and every fourth and fifth grader in the school system has their own to take home.

Henry County has more than 1,700 iPads, the most by any school system in Virginia.

You might think having these in the classroom might be a distraction, but Principal Elizabeth Minter says that's not the case.

"They pay better attention. The engagement has increased tremendously. It's not a distraction in the classroom,” said Minter.

She says grades are up in her school as well.

Bedford County Schools' Director of Technology, Edward Hoisington says he likes what he sees.

"They are the digital native. They are used to technology. They're gamers. They love anything in their hands that has to do with technology, therefore if we can provide them content through technology, I think it's a win, win,” said Hoisington.

After observing Henry County's success, he says they want to start phasing in iPads next year.

Several other administrators told us they'd like to put one in each of their student’s hands, but say paying for them will be the challenge.
 

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