A state funded program will be replacing textbooks with ipads at Dixon Middle School in Provo.
Mrs. Leanne Moody knows what its like to have this technology in the classroom. She teaches Language Arts, Reading and Digital Media at Dixon Middle School.
Before last year her classes were like any other, with students reading paperback books and taking notes with a pen and paper.
That all changed when her principal approached her last year, and expressed his dissatisfaction with the progress of reading among students. “What if I get an iPad lab? Do you think that would make a difference with those kids?” Mrs. Moody recalls him saying to her.
In an effort to improve reading skills among students, Mrs. Moody began using iPads in her reading class last year. And after getting used to the new tools, she began using them in all of her classes.
“Paper has gone away pretty much,” Moody said. She’s noticed a positive difference. “They definitely like reading on them.”
Fortunately for Moody and her classes, they will continue using iPads. In fact, all of the class and teachers will be using iPads to assist them in learning and teaching.
Dixon Middle School was one of only three schools in the state chosen for a program that calls for iPads in every student’s hands.
Like Moody, Karls Wells, Dixon Middle School’s vice principal, is happy with the program. “We want this to be a great experience for everyone; for parents, for students, for teachers.”The iPads are scheduled to arrive at the school next month. Teachers will have three days of training and then it will be up to them to adapt their lessons and create new lessons integrating the iPads.
“We’re really excited to continue to use what we have but also implement that with the iPad,” Wells said. Dixon’s faculty aren’t the only ones intrigued.
“Oh my gosh! I’m so happy because I can have a smaller backpack,¨ seventh grader Joshua Gilson said. “I think it will help most kids at school because it will be more fun to use an iPad than writing down in books.”
Gilson’s mom, Rose Brett, agrees. “He’s pretty excited and motivated to do better in school because of it.” Brett plans to use it as a tool to help her son Gilson get better grades. “I told him: ‘If you don’t get good grades, you can’t use the iPad.’”
Even Gilson’s brother, Daniel Melo, likes the idea of iPads in the school. As a student of Timpview High School, he hasn’t had that luxury. ¨If I had an iPad in school, I probably would have done even better,¨ he said. Even with all the excitement and the anticipated benefits, Moody knows there will be some challenges as there have been in her classes.
“Ocassionally they do get off task…it’s a distraction,” Moody said.
Also, according to Wells, parents are “very hesitant and somewhat reserved about what´s going to happen when ipads go home.”
However, Moody is still confident that the iPads will be for the better in the end.”I’m trying to show them there are other things to do besides Facebook,” Moody said.
Moody and Wells said that this new technology in the classroom won’t just be for learning, but it will be to help students prepare for college and their future careers.