What’s Working: UH goes high tech for middle school students

What's Working: UH goes high tech for middle school students (Image 1)

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – Erica Preswood’s Language Arts class sounds a little different.  It looks unusual also. Traditional books are being replaced with iPads.

“The most powerful thing is they can collaborate. Like today it changed on the fly. They tell me what they need now,” said Preswood.

A big box in the back of the classroom is the key to unlocking a student’s potential.

The cart is mobile so it goes to different classrooms. Each iPad has a number and each child is responsible for iPad when they are in class.

Laney Falin is one of nearly a hundred 7th and 8th graders who uses the iPads almost every day.

“We can use them for research instead of just reading it on paper. It brings the projects to life,” said Falin.

On this day, it’s a persuasion lesson. Jack as in “Jack and the Beanstalk” is on trial. The class is the courtroom.Falin says it’s not the iPads, but Mrs. Preswood who really brings the material to life.

“She comes up with creative ways to help us learn,” said Falin.

“They keep me on my toes. Because I have to keep it new,” said Preswood who offers this advice to any teacher or school system ready to take the leap with this new technology: “Just try it, you will make mistakes but just try it.”

The school paid $30,000 to implement the iPads – much of that money came from a Niswonger Foundation grant. The software comes from Haiku Learning Center and it’s free of charge.

Copyright 2014 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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