A Central Indiana school is planning to send kindergarten students home with iPads in the fall.
Eastern Schools Corporation in Greentown has been incorporating a few hundred netbooks and tablets into classrooms for the past few years, but the new plan would dedicate thousands of dollars to ensure the youngest students have the latest technology.
"This one here, they have to listen to the sound and then they have to build the word to match the picture," said kindergarten teacher Jillian Bellaw, who demonstrated an education App for the device. "As you go it can get harder. It can give the kids more or less clues depending where they're at with the levels."
"It'll just be another tool for our kindergarten teachers and also to develop that relationship between home and school," said Caddell.
The kindergarten teachers have already been sharing an iPad cart throughout the year, which features 15 iPads, but Caddell said the App-assisted learning has been so successful that they decided to invest much more.
Each iPad will cost the school about $500. There were no grants to offset the cost, but Caddell said they managed to make the $50,000 investment, thanks to a rainy day fund and a technology fee paid by parents.
"We can't continue to teach as we were taught," said Caddell. "When you do you rob children of tomorrow. It's a quote from John Dewey and I think it's very, very true."
"It helped me learn a lot of stuff," said Melton.
The 5th-grader is referring to the iPad he used in class last year, and now that he is taking home a netbook, his mother, Tammy Melton, said she can see the benefit for even younger students.
"There's going to be a lot of parenting that have to help with you know, taking care of them," Tammy Melton said. “But you know technology is growing and the younger they get to feel it I think the better."
"I think it will be fun for them to have the iPads,” Jared Melton said "It's a big responsibility really."
Caddell said the district is hoping to provide iPads to a higher grade level as well next year. In the coming years, he hopes to offer similar technology to all students.
School will give kindergarten students iPads
Eastern Schools Corporation in Greentown has been incorporating a few hundred netbooks and tablets into classrooms for the past few years,