Thursday, September 12, 2013
Schools are constantly competing with electronics and technology for the attention of their students, but Paul Knox Middle School has an opportunity to bring them all together to give children a boost.
Paul Knox was chosen to be part of a program that will use iPads in the classroom to increase the use of technology and also give students a chance to learn about using electronics in the classroom.
Science teacher Mallory Bodine has been using the tablets in her classroom and said they work for both the teachers and students.
“We’re really trying to keep them organized, and it keeps us organized,” Bodine said. “It gives them more self-paced responsibility. They are able to move on their own and ask questions when they need to.”
Bodine has been able to let them listen to her notes on their iPads, as well as online. This allows them to rewind, pause and pace themselves to listen to her in a way that is best for each student. They also get to use a variety of applications. She said that one she and her students both enjoy is Pic Collage, because it allows them to make posters and visuals on their tablets for display.
“As we go, we will be using things for cells in chemistry, and there are so many cool apps,” Bodine said. “You can actually look at a three-dimensional cell. This will give them a lot more experience and more perspective that I can’t give them or they can’t see without a microscope. The apps will be very helpful.”
Currently, there are only limited classrooms that are using the technology, but there are hopes that the program will expand in the upcoming years.
“We have it in three science classes and one GT class,” Bodine said. “We have been very fortunate because our PTO bought us two more classrooms, and the district helped us finish that last classroom so we could have it for GT. What we’re hoping is that they will get this experience every year and the program grows every year. So by the time they’re eighth graders they are just whizzes at it.”
According to Bodine the difference between technology for socializing and academics is important to everyone.
“As a district, we created technology rules,” Bodine said “It’s about using the Internet safely. We have rules that show them what they should be doing with their iPads. We have them in place so they understand academic technology versus social use.”
The students truly enjoy the experience of being able to bring together technology and academics, and they understand that even though they get to enjoy electronics, they are still learning.
“I think that using iPads is really fun,” said 12-year-old Justin Manning. “It’s easy to submit answers to the teacher, and I think it’s a nice addition and tool to use in the classroom.”
Logan Soto, 12, also believes that the difference in the classroom is a positive one.
“It’s a lot more fun,” Soto said. “It’s interactive and it’s easier to learn for me.”
The variety that is given to these students is a major benefit according to them.
“I like the fact that we get to have this experience,” said Sean Wood, 12. “Not everyone gets to do this.”