Rural teachers prep for tablets
It wasn’t students in the classrooms at Lyle Public Schools Wednesday.
Teachers from rural area school districts learned how they can incorporate more tablet and iPad technology in the classroom at a South Central Education Consortium training seminar.
“Basically, we’re trying to show teachers how to use more of this technology,” said Jeff Oian, technology director for the consortium, which includes Southland, Glenville/Emmons, Grand Meadow, Lyle, and LeRoy/Ostrander public schools. “All of these teachers have access to this.”
Teachers learned plenty of new tools, from setting up large online memory storage for class papers and projects to video and other multimedia production, to working with word processing apps.
IPads are slowly but surely making their way into classrooms as more districts across the state and nation use them to teach technology and cut down on classroom expenses, which includes textbooks. Rochester Public Schools recently tabled an initiative to buy 8,000 iPads for its students, while Farmington Public Schools in the Twin City metro area recently approved 2,000 iPads for students to use.
Several area districts are already moving toward one-to-one tablet use, meaning they’re providing an iPad for every student. Oian said Grand Meadow should have one-to-one technology for its students by the end of next year, while iPads are used at Southland in grades 4 though 6 and 10, which should expand this year.
One of the chief advantages to iPads, aside from getting students prepared for technological advances, is the ability to download free textbooks and even create class-specific textbooks.
“Obviously there’s a huge savings there,” Oian said.