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Kindergarten students use iPads as learning tools



Published: Mon, March 14, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Kindergarten students use iPads as learning tools

By D.A. Wilkinson

wilkinson@vindy.com

COLUMBIANA

During a typical day in a kindergarten classroom at the Joshua Dixon Elementary School and Learning Center, teacher Lisa Conrad helped students with their lessons.

But instead of using pencils and paper, the students did their work on iPads.

The small, tablet-style Apple computers come with pre-loaded programs that are used by the children.

Conrad showed an iPad used by a boy who likes math. With the touch of a finger, she turned on a program that featured math problems.

The teacher said her students are also learning by kinesthetics, a method in which learning takes place by the student carrying out an activity on an iPad.

“It’s touching to learn. It’s hands-on manipulation, not just writing,” she said.

The program is also visually oriented. Conrad’s classroom has a number of posters and drawings used in educational activities.

“It’s colorful,” she added.

Conrad said that the students also were instructed on the care of the iPads, “because it’s a valuable piece of equipment.”

“Students are also allowed to work at their own pace,” the teacher said.

During the day, the students have “center time.”

“We play our games,” Conrad said.

But those games allow teachers to gauge the educational level of the students.

Conrad said as an example in speech, “We can go back and repeat the sounds they heard.”

Conrad and Kim Sharshan, the principal at the school, agree that, “kids and electronics seem to mix.”

Sharshan said when it comes to kids and iPads: “They have no problems. They are completely adjusted to it.”

Parents may recall cutting and pasting paper as a school activity when they were young. But the action these days is in electronics.

“The kids dive right in,” Sharshan said.

The principal added that the district is also using electronic books. When a teacher wants a book for her class and the purchase is approved, the teacher gets a money card to pay for downloading the iBooks through iTunes.

Superintendent Don Mook said that iPads, “possibly could reduce paper.”

Mook said the idea of using iPads is to let children learn at their own pace.


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