Thursday, October 24, 2013

At Beutler Middle, Students Use iPads To Stay Engaged in Every Class

On Thursday, at Beutler Middle School, music students were finding new ways to identify notes. It didn’t require the teacher to stand in the front of the room and point out the notes to them.

Instead, every student had their own iPad. They could open up an app, sing into the device, and it would tell them which notes they were missing. Each student received immediate feedback and worked to self-correct next time they sang. The teacher was on hand to help each student individually along the way.
Students use SmartMusic app to master note identification.
Beutler Middle fully implemented a one-to-one ratio of iPads to students and teachers this year through the Idaho Technology Pilot Program. It was one of 11 schools selected this summer to participate in the pilot program.

Through this program, schools received state funding to pilot innovative technologies that, if successful, might later be duplicated in every school across the state to give Idaho teachers the tools they need to help raise academic achievement.

Beutler Middle received $138,718.74 to implement the iPad technology across all grades, which it believes will help students reach grade-level proficiency on the new Idaho Core Standards, participate in digital coursework, and prepare for dual credit opportunities once they are in high school.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna visited the school in Dayton on Thursday afternoon to talk with teachers, students and school administrators about how the technology pilot is working.

“This school district, the West Side School District, is a unique district in that it really has been a leader for many years in the use of technology to expand opportunities for students,” Superintendent Luna said. “They are a leader in distance learning. They are a leader in virtual education. So it’s not only interesting, but it’s exciting to see how they continue to lead the state in making sure that students living here in their district have opportunities to learn at the highest levels and from great educators.”

Educators at Beutler Middle School have fully embraced the new technology, finding innovative ways to integrate the technology and keeps students engaged in every subject area.

In science class, the teacher used an interactive app to help students better understand mitosis. Rather than just looking at pictures in a textbook, students can see how it actually occurs and watch it over and over again, if necessary.
7th grade student using the mitosis app in science class.
In language arts, students use the iPad to improve their writing skills with daily prompts.

Students use the technology in history class to research current events and then quiz each other about them.

So far, students had nothing but great things to say about the new devices.  “You can do a lot more things on it, like look things up to help on projects. It helps a lot!” one student told Superintendent Luna before he left.

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