Seventh- and eighth-graders at Our Redeemer's Christian School are making use of their school-issued Apple iPad tablet computers for multiple assignments.
Lauren Hendrickson, a seventh-grader, said her iPad makes assignments that might be boring or hard the old-fashioned way a lot easier and more fun.
"They're really great for organizing," said Leslie DeLong, the school's math, science and Bible teacher.
Andrea Johnson/MDN - - Courtney Ahmann, a seventh-grader at Our Redeemer’s Christian School, looks at her iPad in class last week.
That applies to both students and teacher. DeLong loves having everything she needs available on her iPad and her students find it easier to keep track of what they're supposed to be doing, too.
"I've noticed a lot less missing assignments," DeLong said.
School administrator Charles Strand said the school board has long wanted to increase technology offerings at the private Christian school. Without the resources of the public school system, they often have felt like they are "playing catch-up," Strand said. The iPads, a relatively inexpensive tablet computer, offers an opportunity to give the students more opportunities.
This year each of the school's 37 seventh and eighth-graders at the school have been issued an iPad to use throughout the school year. There is a wireless Internet connection at the school so students can use the iPads anywhere in the school building. The Internet connections are filtered, so inappropriate content doesn't get through, and students follow school rules when using them.
Strand said the kids read literature for their English class on the iPads, email assignments to their teachers and can take quizzes using the iPad. Teachers use it for collaborative learning. For instance, at the beginning of a class, a teacher might assign one group of kids to research a topic being discussed and then report back to the class on what they have found out. The iPad gives the students the capacity to research information that even the teacher might not know and become teachers for the rest of the class.
DeLong said her students researched the classification of the animal kingdom in their life science class.
Strand said the school board hopes to put the iPads into use schoolwide at some point in the future.