Pilot program brings iPads to all high school campuses

Rachel Sloan, Editor in Chief

No texting. Don’t even think about playing Angry Birds in class. But pulling out an iPad? Well, the teacher may just put that in your hands.

A pilot program has been launched in LISD granting each high school iPads for student use and improvement. This program is designed to see if this technology can boost students’ learning and be beneficial

Principal John Graham requested 45 iPads, three for each of 15 yellow Advocate classes. Yellow Advocate has a 10:1 student to teacher ratio and is for students who struggle with math and science.

“We want to give them as much help as possible,” Graham said. “By having iPads more students can be helped while the teacher is busy.”

As a student, Graham was not strong in math and science in school, and believes that if you can’t interact with it, you can’t always understand.

“You can manipulate things right there,” Graham said. “It’s visual, auditory and kinesthetic. That would’ve helped me a lot in school.”

Outside of Advocate, math and science teachers are getting the opportunity to integrate the technology into some of their lessons.

“I think it’s effective for students to explore math visually by manipulating parameters to explore the transformations of functions and watch it change in real time,” Geometry and Pre-Cal teacher Joel Vandiver said. “Not to mention iPads are an effective portal to the web which is helpful in every class.”

Physics teacher Maureen Selman thinks that the iPads will also provide a useful learning experience for the teachers as well.

“You guys were raised with technology,” Selman said. “It’s your second nature to know the shortcuts; you can help teach us who were raised with paper and pencil.”

Pre-calculus and Chemistry classes have already tried out the new technology. Other math and science classes will have the opportunity as the year continues.

“They will have a lot of potential once we get used to using them,” junior Christina Gatti said. “They’re really helpful for studying.”

Each high school received a small number of iPads to utilize in classes as part of the pilot program. If the results are positive, the district may order additional devices next year.

“Students process faster and like things in their hands,” Graham said. “With teachers stretched so thin this gets students involved.”