|Eastwood may add iPads to kindergarten classrooms|
|Written by Marie THOMAS BAIRD, Sentinel Education Editor|
|Thursday, 01 August 2013 09:31|
PEMBERVILLE - Eastwood may purchase iPads for kindergarten classrooms, using grant money.
Betsy Hood, who is the district's director of eLearning, received a $15,000 Martha Holden Jennings Foundation grant, and wants to use it to purchase 30 tablets for the district's five kindergarten classes this fall.
"You're looking for something to hold their attention," said Superintendent Brent Welker. "These tablets seem to engage them fairly well."
Hood wants to purchase six iPads for each of the classrooms plus Apple TV hardware to project images from the iPad to a classroom screen.
The 16 GB iPads cost $479 each, compared to about $380 for the new Android-based Galaxy tablet, said Technology Director Matt Routson,
But the savings come from the Apple TV hardware, which costs $99 compared to the purchase of a Wi-Fi enabled projector at $400 each, Hood pointed out.
"That's where their comfort level is," said Hood, explaining that many of the teachers already own iPads.
The district is offering all-day kindergarten this year with just over 100 students at Luckey and Pemberville elementaries.
Hood also explained the Apple iOS operating system is less troublesome than an Android-based device.
Also, there are more educational options of apps from the Apple store than Android.
She listed 30 apps selected by kindergarten teachers, such as Math Puppy, Alphabet Fun and Kindergarten Addition and Subtraction. Only six of the apps on the list are available on an Android device.
The latest reports state Apple's education apps number roughly 95,000. Android educational apps number roughly 50,000, she told the board. And the quality of Apple apps exceeds its competitors.
As for professional development, Hood said the two educational technology agencies in Northwest Ohio do not offer any Android-based tablet classes because there is no demand.
"Resources for iPads go beyond app recommendations and include strategies for effective instruction, classroom management and tips for ensuring the device is used to its fullest potential in the classroom," Hood wrote in her presentation to the board.
Board member Roger Bostdorff asked whether students will have problems going from an iPad in kindergarten to the laptops which will be offered in grades 1-7.
Welker said by third grade, students have to be proficient on keyboard devices to take assessment tests.
"The kids can move fairly easily" from platform to platform, he said.
"If we're going to do this, we've got to measure it," said Bostdorff.
He asked whether a student growth achievement guide will be in place by the start of the school year, to which Welker responded no.
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