iPads For Monroe Co. Students

6:03 PM, Aug 2, 2013   |    comments
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Though it may still feel like summer outside, Central Georgia families are all in back-to-school mode.

But instead of reaching into a backpack for a textbook, some Monroe County students will be grabbing iPads.

This year, Monroe County Schools is BYOT: "Bring Your Own Technology."

They're encouraging a more digital classroom. 

Starting from third grade and up, if you have an iPad, Nook tablet, or even a smartphone, bring them to school. 

At new teacher orientation, Tomice Harvey is learning how to use iPads in her Pre-K class.

The school spent $750,000 on new technology. That includes iPads and MacBook Pros. 

"That means the student can access that textbook at home as well and not toting around a big 25-50 pounds worth of books in their backpack," says Valerie Mercer, the chief technology officer at Monroe County schools.

They purchased 260 new iPads to use in the schools. In some cases, students will be able to take them home. 

For every subject,"there's an app for that." Band Director, Eric Thompson, uses a tuner app.

"I like to call Bubba, especially for the little kids and every time you play in tune, he smiles, which is really cool," he says.

Even with this new technology, the schools are still buying textbooks. Some students still enjoy turning a page.

"Like you can take it home and study. With the iPad, you can't take it home unless they give it to you to take out for the school year," says Mary Persons senior Katrina Elkins.

For Harvey, there's excitement in learning. And she's not alone. Her seven year old has become her biggest iPad teacher.

"He comes home and he was able to be like, 'Look, mommy, look what I learned today.' And so I was excited that he knew to teach me," she says.

The digital upgrade is a chance to make learning accessible. 

The schools started introducing iPads into the classroom three years ago. 

They bought 50, now the number of iPads in use has more than quadrupled. 

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