Want to set your local edition? Select an edition for focused news coverage when you visit AL.com. At St. Paul’s Episcopal School, educators introduce virtual learning options to their very youngest students. Kindergartners are using iPads to enhance reading and math skills, along with basic lessons with paper and pencil. Video taken Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, in Mobile, Ala.MOBILE, Alabama Ideas for digital learning are expanding daily in Mobile and Baldwin County schools, where teachers are integrating digital devices to the very youngest children.
By the end of January, the Baldwin County school system assigned digital devices to all students in lower grades, right down to kindergarten, said schools spokesman Terry Wilhite.
Children in grades K5-3 received iPads; grades 4-12 received MacBook Airs. Students in grades 3 or younger are not allowed to take the devices home, as the older children do.
What does digital learning look like in a kindergarten classroom? At St. Paul s Episcopal School in Mobile, it means learning to share, for starters.
The school has iPads in the literacy center, library and science labs used by the pre-K through second grades, and those students may also use the two iPads assigned to every classroom.
In the lower school library, used by pre-K through second grades, there are six iPads available. When the kids aren t checking out books, they use the iPads,cheap ghd uk, said Kim McDonald, librarian.
I have found that with using the iPads, they learn sharing at this level more than anything, she said. Especially pre-K and kindergarten; it s so much more about them learning that skill of sharing because they have to take turns with them. It s a great way to discuss sharing, and we do character lessons in the library.
The classroom iPads are used for lessons in science, speech and reading,ghd straighteners, and the devices also enable the students to interact with the Epsom projectors at the front of each room, the next iteration of Smartboards. The teachers also have the ability to hook the iPad up to the Epson projector.
In Sarah Gross s kindergarten class, a recent lesson on the popular children s book Brown Bear culminated in a video, starring each student.
Each child took a turn with an iPad,ghd uk, selecting characters and reciting lines from the book. At the end of the lesson, they watched their video on the big screen. The entire lesson, from start to finish, took less than 20 minutes.
Technology is not replacing basic learning, Gross said. It s only enhancing our classroom. I like to integrate my lessons with technology. They re still using manipulatives, so we try and use both.
The technology keeps the kids attentive and on good behavior, she said. They want to be engaged and challenged. It s a great behavior management tool they re so excited to use the technology.
Digital learning can also help highlight students strengths and weaknesses, said Kelli Etheredge, the school s teaching and learning resources director. We don t all learn the same, she pointed out. A worksheet only meets the needs of a certain child; for the others, it s too easy. But the technology lets us take it to another level. The kids who aren t challenged can take what they are learning and do it in a different way.
The result, she said, is more academic achievement and fewer students left behind. They feel more successful. They re more excited about coming to school.
St. Paul s added the iPads to its lower grades two years ago, said Etheredge, who has two children at the school. As a result, my third-grader is fearless, she said. Watching him find an answer to a problem is astonishing. He just looks it up; he knows where to find the answers to the questions that he has.