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iPad Pilot Program at Howard County School Expands

The pilot program, originally only for seventh graders, has been extended to all the students in the school.

By Kirsten Petersen

After a successful first year of a pilot program that put iPads in the hands of 280 students and teachers at Elkridge Landing Middle School last year, all students and staff at the school will receive iPads this fall.

The two-year pilot program, which began last November, tested whether iPads could improve classroom learning and instruction with 220 seventh graders and 60 teachers at the middle school.

The program was deemed such a success by administrators that iPads will be given to all students and teachers in the school.

Gina Cash, the principal of Elkridge Landing, told Parent Teacher Connection, a Howard County Public Schools television program, that the school was chosen for the pilot program because it represented the economic diversity of the county.

She added that seventh graders were selected because their curriculum encourages them to analyze, synthesize and produce, skills that the iPads allows students to practice.

Some of the apps that have been employed in the classroom include News in Slow Spanish apps, which provide a broadcast recording and transcript of a Spanish news report, and Puppet Pals, which allows students to record themselves speaking and watch animated characters recite their conversations, helping them improve grammar and pronunciation.

To support teachers as they use the iPad in their classrooms, the school offers “APPY Hour” training sessions. During one APPY Hour, teachers visited other classrooms to observe how students were integrating the iPad apps with assignments.

Linda Scrivener, a technology support teacher at the school, told Parent Teacher Connection that 95 percent of the students take their iPads home after school, but added that this also places a responsibility on both the students and the parents to take care of the technology.

To learn more about the pilot program and hear testimonials from students and staff, watch this video from Parent Teacher Connection.
Jack June 19, 2013 at 07:34 PM
This article is regurgitated propaganda from the hcpss. There is nothing in the PTC video which describes any success or improvement in teaching anything.
HoCoTeacher2 June 20, 2013 at 08:40 AM
Jack. Even though I have never met you, I feel like I do know you. You are one of those people who does nothing, yet finds fault in the efforts of other who try do so something good. Why don't you get up from your computer keyboard and use all that negative energy to bring about positive change. It certainly would be better for your health. It actually takes effort...something that sitting at a keyboard and constantly criticizing others...doesn't.
Sanchez June 20, 2013 at 09:46 AM
Why no word on funding source for this expensive program?
MG42 June 20, 2013 at 11:46 AM
iPads are expensive. How is this going to save the taxpayers money or make a measurable impact on education? This is really just signaling. It's saying, "hey everybody, look how rich our county is. Kids in our schools have iPads!" So dumb.
Marc June 21, 2013 at 07:54 AM
A real feel good story however, what metrics were used to evaluate the program, if any? Marc
Sanchez June 21, 2013 at 09:15 AM
Not much in this story in the way information is there? More of a simple advertisement for ipads.

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