Milton school brings iPads into classroom

Teachers say device helps get students excited about learning

Published On: Sep 27 2012 09:15:05 PM CDT   Updated On: Sep 27 2012 09:22:22 PM CDT
MILTON, Wis. -

Teachers at Milton Middle School are using iPads to get their students excited about learning.

Teachers said before all the students got iPads, keeping everyone up to speed with technology was challenging.

"The problem we had was that we only had 60 computers for about 500 students," said teacher Shelly Kress.

The teachers, or "iCoaches," can look for apps, then ask their students to download them. The new device also means new rules.

"We are adding lessons on digital citizenship and how to be safe online. We had to add that into our curriculum because we really wanted to make sure students were going to use the technology appropriately and were safe," Kress said.

The school purchased 600 iPads for the students to use. Although that investment may sound expensive, Principal Tim Schigur said the iPads are helping the school save money.

"It's well into the thousands (of dollars saved), especially with the paper and the textbooks. Each textbook costs $50 to $80, so we're not buying those anymore," Schigur said.

Nearly a half a dozen classes are completely paperless, and there's no need for an assignment notebook. Teachers said the device is helping students stay organized and homework completion is up.

"If they encounter a problem, they don't just stop. I either get an email about it or a, 'Well, I tried this instead.' They seem to go a bit above and beyond now that they have the iPad," said teacher Jessica Worcester.

Worcester said the iPad hasn't changed what teachers are teaching but it has motivated their students.

"Just seeing the students light up and come alive has been really, really awesome," Worcester said.

The principal said the students are free to personalize the iPads, but they are set up so students can't access explicit material.