iPads give students much needed access to technology
Mary Sapienza teaches children that live in poverty, English Language Learners, and students coming from a vast diversity of life experiences in her 4th and 5th grade classroom at Gutermuth Elementary, a Title 1 school in Louisville, KY.
Many of Mary’s students are not accustomed to traditional classroom settings and also lack the common background knowledge and basic academic language most Common Core Standards require. While Mary has long enlisted the help of technology to both increase student participation/interest and to help them make connections among themselves to the content being taught, Guthermuth had little in the way of available technology for her students.
In 2018, First Christian Church of Louisville funded the purchase of seven iPads for Mary’s classroom. These tablets have unlocked endless ways for the students of Guthermuth to express what they are learning through hands-on interactive activities. A variety of apps, internet-based programs, and interactive hands-on games are now available for the students to use in their learning.
Mary’s students have loved being able to make a movie to explain how to solve a math problem, create a Flipgrid to explain the theme of a fable, or blog about a book they are reading in group. The English Language Learners are also using the iPads to translate language to communicate with their teachers and peers as they translate their work into their native language and translate their answer back to English.
The activity most enjoyed by the students is learning coding skills using the iPads with robots. The classroom had the robots prior to the purchase of the iPads but the students were missing out on a key resource to bring the robots to life: the iPads! The iPad is the only tablet that these robots sync with.
Because of these iPads, Mary and the students of Guthermuth will continue to find new ways to keep enriching their learning together, feeling like 21st century learners and leaders.
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