Classroom iPads prove successful in Falls City

FALLS CITY — The learning curve was steep — especially for the teachers — but Falls City School District’s first year working with iPads in the classroom was deemed a success.    Falls City Superintendent Jack Thompson added there is even more excitement for next year as the district works out the bugs in its wireless network and iPad management systems. Jack Thompson    “We are going to continue with staff training next year,” he said. “It’s been a really good learning experience.”    Throughout the course of the school year, Falls City was able to provide an iPad for every student in every class, unique among districts in Polk County. Students, particularly at the elementary level, hit the ground running with the devices.    “What I’ve seen kids do, it’s amazing,” Thompson said. “Kids are creating books, making movie trailers, and turning in assignments online.”    Thompson added the district’s timing couldn’t have been better as iPad-specific curriculum in language arts, math, science and social studies is being developed by teachers from across the state and distributed by the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA).    “It’s free and students can use it in the classroom now,” he said.    The district is investing even more into the devices for next year, purchasing iPads to replace those damaged or to offer to new students to the district.    Thompson said the most exciting development to introducing iPads in class is that it has changed the learning environment in the district.    “It’s changed the way that teachers are teaching,” he said. “Instead of standing in front of the class, all knowing, the teacher has now become like a coach and stands beside students.”    He said the relationship between teachers and students is different now because they are learning to use the devices together.    “I thinks it makes it (the relationship) better,” he said. “It’s more collaborative.”    In other district news:    • The Falls City School Board adopted its 2014-16 biannual budget on June 23 with a general fund of $4,775,504.    


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