" Yeah , I mean it's an interesting tool to have . I t makes learning easier and much quicker than pencils and paper ," Fourth grader Lauren Hudson said.
H udson only needs her i P ad to study. H er fourth grade class is using their tablets to do research for an upcoming field trip. T his is just one of the many ways that teachers in the Boyne City school district are using this technology to help students learn.
" We are teaching students differently than we have before, and this is our way to meet this generation of students , where they are learning the way they like to learn ," Elementary School Principal Fred Sitkins said.
T he district announced a 1:1 initiative a few years ago to get iPads into the hands of every student K-12. This year they have accomplished that goal with the help of grants, donations and a local levy. Now that each student has one, teachers are beginning to notice changes in their classes.
"S ince we've had the iPad in the classroom student engagement has skyrocketed ," Fourth grade teacher Rebecca Wildman said.
T he district hopes that this engagement helps students place higher in statewide tests. T hey also believe the kids will walk away with skills to help them succeed in everyday life.
" It's very engaging and that's the beauty of the iPad. Now most the jobs that these students may have in the future haven't even been invented yet so we're preparing them for the technology change that is starting now and will continue in the future," Wildman said.
O ther districts around Northern Michigan are looking at copying Boyne City's program. In the next few years you are likely to see other schools taking the same steps to modernize education.