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August 27, 2012 05:03 PM

West Central Sixth Graders Learn With iPads

Hartford, SD

Technology is the way of the future when it comes to learning in KELOLAND classrooms. This year, West Central Middle School is taking another step forward by incorporating iPad's into sixth grade classrooms.

Trading in textbooks for an iPad can be summarized in just a few words for sixth grader Kadyn Nolz.

"It’s pretty cool," Nolz said.

Students are just starting to get familiar with the new technology. They’re navigating the home screen and trying out different apps, such as one that shows the constellations.

"It's very motivational just to have the technology in your hands.  If you can do something interactive on the iPad rather than read about it in the textbook, that increases their interest, their motivation and attention," sixth grade teacher Becky Jaspers said.

Jaspers says that's some of the reasons why West Central Middle School is incorporating the technology into everyday learning.

"For one, if you've got kids with access to that technology right there, you don't have to rent a computer lab and gauge your lesson plans exactly where they're at," Jaspers said.

"You can pretty much do anything you really need to do on it," Nolz said.

All 115 sixth grade students will get their own iPad. They'll take it out of a cart in the morning, use it throughout the day, then at the end of the school day they'll put it back in to charge.

"They get to have them with them in every class from music, core classes and even study hall," Jaspers said.

Jaspers says the iPads can be an effective learning tool. They allow students to work together as a class or small group, but also at their own pace. That's something she feels all kids need. It doesn't hurt that it's a 'cool' way to learn either.

"Overall, the excitement, it gets renewed, excited about learning and coming back to school," Jaspers said.

"It will be a lot more fun," Nolz said.

West Central hopes to continue incorporating the iPads into all of its middle school classrooms.

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