By Susan Gager
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
5:21 PM CDT, September 17, 2012
1,600 new iPads. Derby Middle School is gearing up to have those in the hands of their students by December. Teachers say it will revolutionize the way they teach and students learn.
“Kids are coming into the digital age where all of the information is at their fingertips,” said Derby Middle School teacher Cory McCracken.
McCracken teaches his Derby Middle School students on desktops, but soon his computer lab will get an upgrade.
“I am really excited about getting the iPads in the classroom. It's really going to open up a new media for teachers to use, and students will be able to access information at a much quicker rate,” said McCracken.
Every student at Derby Middle School from the 6th through the 8th grade will get an iPad. It's a $1.2 million investment, but the Derby School District is confident in it because it's already tested iPads on students at Pleasantview Elementary.
“Despite the budget problems, we want to continue to move forward and offer our students the latest innovative technology that we can,” said Derby Schools instructional coordinator Kendal Warkentine.
The Pleasantview fifth graders are as high tech as they come.
“Those kids were up making movies, projects, and presenting not Powerpoint, but Keynote, the equivalent to Powerpoint, making those kinds of presentations and did a fantastic job last year,” said Warkentine.
These new iPads are lessening school's dependence on textbooks and giving teachers the power to shape the curriculum exactly the way they want it.
“Teachers are going to able to get lessons quicker, get more information to them at a quicker rate, rather than just going to the textbook having to thumb through the pages,” said McCracken.
Pleasantview fifth graders can learn math and writing skills at their own pace, instead of strictly by lecture. Teachers say just knowing how to use the technology will give students a leg up in the future.
“The kids need to be able to advance with the current technology so once they get out into the workforce they're not a step behind,” said McCracken.
As far as students having the iPads, the district reports only 10 were damaged in the one year. Derby High School is also due for a computer upgrade next year. No decision yet on whether they'll get iPads.
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