Introducing Franklin County "iR-II"

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Pictured above is iR-II's kindergartners showing off the classes new iPad.

iPads, iPhones, iBooks, iTunes U, and now Franklin County “iR-II” School.  Last week R-II distributed iPads to their teaching staff for them to begin implementing the use of iPads in their classrooms.

Superintend and Principal, Carol Laboube and Technology Coordinator, Karen Hoffmann began discussions about the idea of using iPads in the classroom a year ago.  Laboube said, “We researched and found several studies done on schools using iPads in their classrooms.  One study revealed, students who used the iPad in math classes saw a 20 percent increase in advanced proficiency.”

Laboube said, “Every year since I have been here, we have applied and received the Small Rural School Grant.  We have always invested these funds into our technology department.  This year we used the grant money to purchase iPads for all our teachers.  We felt it was important for teachers to be the first to have the iPads, give them time to determine the best way to use the devises within their classroom.”

Pictured right:  The iPad being used to help teach students about numbers.  This particular app displayed two numbers, for example, 56 and 60, students had to choose from a list of  numbers and selecting which one fell between 56 and 60.

Laboube said, “I felt the potential of learning for students and the staff was so great that we could not afford to not  make this investment.”

Today’s students have grown up completely immersed in technology. iPod, iPad, computers — these are the ways they interact with their world. They need a textbook made for the way they learn.

Apple recently announced the release of iBooks 5, aimed towards providing students and schools the ability to purchase textbooks from three of the largest publishers of K-12 content on ipads.

These books will include interactive diagrams, photos, and videos. No longer limited to static pictures to illustrate the text, now students can dive into an image with interactive captions, rotate a 3D object, or have the answer spring to life in a chapter review.

Aside from Apple’s recent announcement of iBooks 5, the app store has millions of apps aimed towards education.  These apps allow students a hand on experience of learning in a fun way.  Certain subjects that students would other wise find boring, the iPad offers form of teaching students in a way that is more appealing.

Pictured left:  Two sixth grade studets use the iPad on the iRug.

Laboube’s hopes are to slowly phase in where students will have an iPad, instead of haling around a backpack full of textbooks, simply have an iPad that has everything they would need.

Laboube did emphasis they are at the very beginning stages of determining whether or not investing in more iPads will improve their students ability to comprehend and learn more through this new form of technology.

Laboube said, “I feel the potential to benefit students is there, however we need to make sure the overall investment will produce results.”

Click here to read more about iBooks5 and an introduction to text books for the iPad.