Cool Schools: iPads change culture & lift grades

Students at Charles Carroll Middle School use an iPad the entire school day

NEW CARROLLTON, Md. (WUSA9) -- It can help encourage students to study, but can technology change the culture in a school?

Principal David Curry at Charles Carroll Middle School says yes. He says getting a tablet for every student proved to be the turning point.

The students seem to agree, and it's not just the gee-whiz factor of having a cool device. Seventh grader Kelsey Vallair says it truly makes things easier.

"I think two of my classes are fully run on the I-pads," Kelsey said.

She's one of more than a thousand students that have an iPad to use for the whole school day.

"My science class we do the warm ups, he posted everything on something called kid blog and we have our lessons and he has a web site where we can find our lessons," Kelsey said.

Math teacher Annyce Dey says the data she gets from the iPads helps her tailor her lesson to each students' ability and that's translating into better grades.

"Right now I have my class working on three different assignments. So we have students working on a practice, we have students working on enrichment, we have students who did actually get what they needed to get and they are working on some intervention skills," Dey said.

Principal David Curry says now that they are in the second full year of having the devices, something else is happening. The students are taking a greater ownership of their education.

In some cases students are adding to the lessons by correcting teacher mistakes.

"When you create an environment within a classroom where students feel free to correct and have conversations with teachers and teachers are willing to accept it because it's all focused on the learning for the class, it says a lot for the environment that the teacher has created and over all what we have been able to do at the school," Principal Curry said.

Charles Carroll is a Title One school, which means the poverty level in the community enables them to qualify for federal funds to improve math science and technology programs.


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