West to Receive New iPads

Huge textbooks and heavy backpacks are expected when going to school, but advancing technology can solve this.

Next year four schools in the Wauwatosa School District will receive 1000 new iPads. These schools are Wauwatosa West, Wauwatosa East, Whitman, and Longfellow. The number of iPads will be split up evenly between the schools which means West will have 250 to use in classrooms next year.

So far two iPads have been given to try out, one to English teacher Lauren Hill and one to Social Studies teacher Andy Zietlow.
There is also another iPad that Library Media Specialist Jeanine Brennan uses, and one she checks out to other teachers in the building. Brennan has put a $100 iTunes card on it, so teachers can purchase apps they find are helpful in their classroom.
The iPads hold many functions. There are Science, Spanish, Math apps, etc. There is even an app that allows students to take notes on the iPad by simply writing on the screen with their finger. Also, students will be able to access their textbooks right on the iPad.

This is possible in a few ways. There is an Amazon Kindle app that can be purchased so textbooks can be downloaded, or students can use online books because the iPads will have Internet access. Apps that are similar to Micro¬soft Word and PowerPoint are available too, so students can type notes, papers, etc. or prepare presentations on it.

Since Tosa West will only be getting 250 of of them, not every student will be able to use an iPad. Calarco says next year “only certain classes like AP Psychology, AP Stats, and Accelerated Advanced Algebra will get to use the iPads, but the future plan of our superintendent is to get more.”

Brennan says that one issue being faced with stu¬dents being able to use this new, expensive technology “is trying to find a good case to protect the iPads.

This new technology is not cheap, but the money does not come from the Wauwatosa West budget. Brennan says “the money is coming from a fund the libraries use called the Common School Funds.”

This money is from the state, which also determines what can be purchased, and the amount of money is determined by the number of students. Brennan said “It used to be that one hundred percent of this fund had to be used for the purchase of books only, but now twenty-five percent of the money can be used for technology.”

The new iPads will pro¬vide students with a different tool to aid their learning and could just become the textbook of the future.