CREATED May. 3, 2013
THERMAL - The way kids learn in school is changing as technology in education becomes more common. Some students in the Coachella Valley Unified School District are getting their hands on iPads under the Mobile Learning Initiative. Its main objective is to prepare students for the technological workplace.
One of the schools under this program is John Kelley Elementary School in Thermal. It's a technological transformation for these classrooms as students use the gadgets about 80 percent of the class day. They use them both in groups and individually.
"I'm teaching them to find their own answers, you know, and so when you do that, you allow them to tap to their own creative genius because then they start figuring things out on their own," says fourth grade teacher Heraclio Elizondo.
Mr. Elizondo says the students have come a long way since they started using iPads in class. The Academic Performance Index for these fourth graders at John Kelley Elementary increased from 800 to 840 in 2012. That number surpasses California's target score of 800. Mr. Elizondo attributes this success to the new gadgets and says that students seem more engaged in class.
"I like these iPads because they're very fun and entertaining and they make learning more fun, not boring," says one fourth grader, Alex Celedon while he shows me a typing application he uses in class.
The Coachella Valley Unified School District is planning to expand this program. By this fall 2013, all schools in the district will have iPads.