Ridgeview Elementary School teachers are now untethered from their desks.
In late January, all teachers at Ridgeview received an iPad to help augment what is already being taught in the class.
“It’s just been outstanding. It’s the best thing that ever happened to the music program,” said Ridgeview music teacher Josh McFadden.
Since implementing the device in his class a few weeks ago, McFadden has been able to tie the iPad to other equipment in his room, record video projects and even programmed a concert on the tablet.
“We’ve been using it in a lot of different ways. One thing that’s really good for me is I’ve taken and bought a Bluetooth receiver so I can walk anywhere in my room and I can start and stop music,” he said.
That’s just the kind of ingenuity officials at Ridgeview were hoping for when they decided to purchase iPads for teachers.
Through fundraising efforts by students, teachers, the Parent Teacher Organization and use of a portion of Basic Education Program, or BEP, funds, officials were able to buy 40 iPads for about $15,000.
“The goal is to put more technology in the classroom. Eventually, we hope to open that up for students,” Assistant Principal John McKinney said.
Principal Peggy Greene said she decided to begin phasing in iPad use after attending a conference where she saw how useful they were in the classroom.
“We all know that kids love interaction anyway with video games or whatever. The kids don’t realize that there are a lot of learning apps out there that not only will expand their learning and make it fun. Hopefully this is a way to do that,” Greene said.
Once administration decided to go forward with getting funds together to purchase the iPads, Wi-Fi was installed throughout the school.
Greene said administration hopes to implement another program in the future that will see more iPads being by students.
Ridgeview has two classrooms that have 10 iPads each that were funded through QUEST Foundation grants.
As the classroom becomes more digital, Greene said it’s important to stay on the cutting edge so new pieces of technology can be implemented into instruction.
“It helps the teacher to keep up to date but also gives them flexibility in teaching kids,” she said.