21 Aug 2014
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iPads in the Classroom: How Schools Use Technology to Reach Kids

Technology showcase demonstrates how the Waukesha School District approaches the latest gadgets in the classroom.

iPads in the Classroom: How Schools Use Technology to Reach Kids iPads in the Classroom: How Schools Use Technology to Reach Kids

With teens spending on average 31 hours a week online, a Waukesha North High School teacher is just one of many who are reaching out to kids at their level.

Through the use of iPads, science teacher Eric Hill can keep classroom interaction engaging as he uses different applications to have the students answer questions during class, draw pictures to explain their answers and to prepare them for a classroom discussion on different topics and issues.

“I can’t force kids to look at a paper, but for whatever reason, they will look at an iPad,” Hill said.

The Waukesha School District held a technology spotlight event Tuesday night at Waukesha West High School for parents and community members to check out a variety of techniques being used in the classroom.

Technology is used in many ways at different schools. At Waukesha STEM Academy-Saratoga Campus, students are starting to build websites so they can track their projects and grades with charts and graphs. They can use that information to assess their growth, to see where they need to improve and acknowledge their strengths.

“This is a part of their self-directed learning,” explained Chris Del Ponte, a teacher at Waukesha STEM Academy.

The use of technology in the classroom is growing. School districts throughout the country are adding iPads and other tablets to their education system with some apparently positive outcomes. A recent study showed that students who use iPads in class score higher on literacy tests, according to Time Magazine.

At the high school level, an application on the iPad allows Hill to ask students a question, log their answers and ask the same question after the lecture and classroom discussion. Students have a chance to think through their answers instead of being put on the spot.

“So many times kids don’t want to participate because they don’t want to be called out,” Hill said.

Hill uses various technologies in his classroom to assist with grading, teaching and homework. Sometimes he has what he calls “flipped” homework. The students are expected to watch video lectures and then complete hands-on projects in class.

“The learning is on them, which is exciting,” Hill said.

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