Birch Meadow Elementary School has 58 iPads for students to use and learn from, giving students a jump start on working with technology. The school has started an iPad Buddy Program that allows children to learn how to use the iPads with students from other grade levels.
According to teacher Heidi Murray, the program is a way for different grade levels to work together, increase their technology skills and practice their math and literacy skills.
"The students use the iPads daily, weekly or monthly depending on how the teacher's schedule works for that week or month," Murray said.
Teachers incorporate the iPads into many different lessons, Murray told Patch. They can complete research projects, type final drafts of writing assignments and use apps that reinforce spelling, math and reading, she said.
Different grade levels pair up, and there are many combinations. For example, students in kindergarten and second grade pair up and learn from eachother using the iPads. The program also allows teachers to collaborate and provides professional development opportunities for staff, Birch Meadow mom Kristen Burke said.
With support from the PTO, the school was able to purchase the iPads over the summer, Burke said.
"My daughter is in Mrs. Murray's second grade class. This is a wonderful program. It's a fun and exciting way for the students to learn and work on their curriculum," she said. "I think there is a nice social component as the students in various classes and grade levels work cooperatively with each other. We are fortunate to have a school that values technology and that gives our students a hands on opportunity to use technology to help intheir studies."