In Pocomoke City, Maryland, the Pocomoke High School freshman class received brand new iPad minis to use through the rest of high school, Delmarva Now reported. The school is still adjusting to the new technology, and students weren't allowed to bring them out of the classroom until finally the school permitted them in October.
The students will now have full-time access to the mobile tablet devices and can use them for an assortment of projects and other assignments, the source reported. Annette Wallace, principal at Pocomoke High School, explained technology was confusing to her when she was in school 15 years ago, but now students use mobile devices to learn all the time. Wallace believes the new iPad program will help prepare students for college and increase their researching skills for the future.
"I want my kids to be prepared for the next level," said Wallace, according to Delmarva Now. "I don't think we can wait."
The freshman student body is made of approximately 100 students, and the iPads will be used in classes ranging from math and science to art studies, the Maryland Coastal Dispatch reported. The mobile technology allows users real-time access to research while in school, in the library or at home.
"We need to break free of having the teacher [as] the only receptacle of knowledge," said Jessica McInerney, a teacher at Pocomoke High School, according to the source. "I think it's really great also to give the students the ability to understand and learn outside of the classroom, especially at home."
Devices pair well with smartboard technology
The devices also help teachers take attendance and run polling questions on assignments. According to the Dispatch, students can take surveys or give their answer to a question on the iPad and it will show up on the classroom's smartboard.
Wallace said she knew when the school first considered the devices there would be backlash because of the possible distractions. However, the devices have to be laid down flat on the student's desk, and teachers use a chart system in which red means no devices out, yellow stands for ask an instructor and green allows students to use them in class.
"We have very strict expectations," said McInerney, according to the source. "When we first gave them the iPads, we went over a presentation of those expectations."
The school invested nearly $50,000 into its iPad program, and to make sure the devices last throughout the students' high school careers, personal iPad insurance should be used to replace a device in the instance an iPad is dropped, lost or broken.