New iPad lab has made difference at high school
Berkeley Springs High School staff is excited about the new iPad labs for the social studies department and the High School of Business.
Social studies teacher Kate Stotler told the Morgan County School Board at the April 3 Berkeley Springs High School local school improvement council presentation that it was cutting edge technology.
Individual iPad devices would allow students to drive their own learning and pursue their own interests, Stotler said.
Stotler said her students had been studying why the incarceration levels in the United States were so high. They used the iPads to read an article about it and to research incarceration in other countries to compare them with the American levels.
Pairs of students were assigned a country to research. They used their iPads to write what they learned on the class blog. The resulting series of blog posts allowed students to see incarceration rates in different counties in relation to United States levels and to draw their own conclusions.
Her students have also been learning to use the iPad application called Evernote to make online accounts, take notes during class and organize their notes into different notebooks for each class.
Teens can access their Evernotes through any device with an Internet connection like a smart phone, laptop or desktop computer to study for tests or use them for assignments, Stotler said.
“I wanted my seniors to learn how to use this app so that when they go to college next year, they can use it to help them stay organized and succeed,” she said.
Makes instruction easier
Business education teacher Keyoung Gill said that the iPads are making things much easier for her High School of Business class students. They’re using the devices at school, at home and for other classes. The iPads let them move beyond the standard lecture.
Students were using their iPads to create a presentation on products that were made in China. The class activity asked the question “Would you do business in China?” and students were investigating what was manufactured there, Gill said. They found that the Apple Corporation does business in China.
One lesson they did was about economic supply and demand. Students used their iPads to research the role of paparazzi in celebrity stardom.
Her class made a video as a group with their iPads with suggestions on how celebrities can deal with paparazzi. They e-mailed it to actor/producer Tobey Maguire through a fan site.
Since paparazzi like to see people acting out of character, the teens filmed a skit where someone bumps a student who is portraying a celebrity, Gill said. The teens had the celebrity keeping their cool after they realized the person was trying to provoke them into a reaction for the camera.
The money for the business education iPad lab came from a state modernization grant applied for by high school Assistant Principal Kristen Tuttle and Secondary Education Director Laura Hovermale, Technology Supervisor Tom Shade said.
The high school received 30 iPads through the grant, which was for about $20,000, and also did some training with students.
Some $6,000 of a $12,000 West Virginia Department of Education grant went toward funding 26 iPads for the social studies lab, as well as local funding. The remaining $6,000 was to be used for upgrades to the high school’s Morgan Field.
Delegate Daryl Cowles presented the schools with the state grant for bringing education into the 21st Century, which was former Budget Digest monies, Shade said.