Technology puts a new spin on a classroom assignment

Technology helped bring presentations to life for Eisenhower Elementary School, Coon Rapids, third-graders.

Sara Johnson shares the large number of sheep inhabiting New Zealand prior to her iPad-based presentation last week.

Sara Johnson shares the large number of sheep inhabiting New Zealand prior to her iPad-based presentation last week.

The students gave country presentations using iPads connected to a Promethean board as part of an assignment crossing course areas, including writing and social studies.

This unique learning opportunity was made possible by a grant from the Qwest Corporation obtained by teacher Catherine Landis.

Landis received the grant at the conclusion of the 2010-2011 school year.

That money allowed for the purchase of nine iPads for the Eisenhower students to use.

In January, Landis’ students began learning how to use the technology. Since then, the students have used the iPads almost daily in the classroom.

According to Landis, a third-grade reading and writing teacher, the technology enhanced the lesson plans and really engaged the students.

“I have 56 students total with a wide variety of abilities and challenges,” she said.

“A few students’ families have an iPad at home, but the majority of the students don’t have access to the latest technology such as the iPad.”

“The students were ecstatic about using the iPads and maintained that enthusiasm throughout the project this spring.”

Students went from not knowing how to turn the iPad on to taking information off the Internet, cropping it and importing it into a slideshow application.

“This project enabled all students to be successful regardless of their background, ability level or experience,” Landis said.

“By incorporating iPads into the curriculum, students were able to develop collaboration skills and learn how to problem solve.

“Ultimately the students became the teachers and leaders.”

Landis said plans are to continue to use the technology next year and incorporate it into additional writing and social studies units.

Kelly Johnson is at kelly.johnson@ecm-inc.com


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