Tablet Computers Help School Move Paperless

By: Jordan Shefte Email
By: Jordan Shefte Email

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The world is constantly plugged in. To meet the changing technological times, education in Wichita is changing.

Wichita Collegiate just provided all of the students in fifth through twelfth grade with tablet computers.

Administration says that not only does this prepare the students for what they will meet in the future, but it also helps the school make the move, to go paperless.

When Jamie Kennedy began teaching thirty five years ago, she never would have guessed that today, she'd be looking at a room full of computers.

"I didn't have a telephone in my classroom, or um, you know had a paper grade book, and a lot of textbooks, no, no, I never imagined that at all," Kennedy said.

But at Wichita Collegiate, for one week now, the students have ditched their textbooks, for a tablet.

"It's actually smashed the walls of the classroom I mean instead of having four walls to contain and the teacher as the expert in the room, it can open the kids up to the world," said Instructional Technology Facilitator Laura Cusick.

It's a change that's allowed teachers, to add new elements to their lesson plans.

"We're able to take what would have been kind of an old fashioned world geography activity, and change it in lots of different ways," Kennedy said.

One benefit teachers are already seeing in the new technology is the ability to give instant feedback.

Students can work on a problem, submit it, and within a matter of seconds, the teacher can tell if they are on track.

"It's so much easier for me to seamlessly, very quickly, analyze what they need help with," said 8th grade math teacher Jonathan Rothwell.

"Instead of like when you turn in your paper and they grade it, they can see like how we did our homework, and whatever they write on it, like 100%, or you missed one or two, or something like that, it shows up on yours," said 6th grader Zoe Corrigan.

The tablets are also helping the school make the move to go paperless.

Instead of passing out a bunch of worksheets and assignments on paper, students can access those items on their tablets.

"It will allow us to see our grades and how well we're doing in class and if we've done any homework or not so we don't really get any excuses for like my dog ate my homework," said 5th grader Ian Moore.

The tablets were funded through tuition at Collegiate, so prices were raised a bit this year.

But administration says that one of the most expensive aspects of the technology was covered by raising money.

The entire infrastructure needed to be established.

For example, wireless internet needed to be set up, and software had to be purchased and installed on the devices.

But, teachers and students both feel that the decision, will pay off.

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