A teacher-led project conducted a six-month study into the effects of using the iPad and other technology as part of lessons.
In the latest rush to bring new technology into the classroom, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage educators are betting a more deliberate approach will pay off in the long run.
Nearly 80 teachers from across the district spent the past six months examining how new technologies such as Apple's iPad can improve their instruction. They presented their findings to parents and colleagues Thursday, March 7, at Diamondhead Education Center in Burnsville.
Rachel Gorton, the district's curriculum and student programs coordinator, said the purpose of the "Improving Student Achievement Through Technology" project was to find where technology would have the largest impact on teaching and student achievement. District officials also hoped teachers would develop data that would help with future decisions about where technology dollars would best be spent.
"We wanted it to be driven by the teachers, not the technology," Gorton said. "So we asked, 'What concepts and skills have historically been difficult to teach?' That's a good place to start."
Kelly Lundquist and Patty Herkenhoff, math intervention teachers at Neill Elementary School, found iPads were an effective way to help struggling students learn math facts. Several tablet applications provided students with both the repetition needed to master skills and novelty to keep them interested.
"The kids love it and they don't realize they are learning," Herkenhoff said. "We are seeing amazing growth."
But the teachers are careful to limit the use of the tablets.
Continue reading how teachers research the use of technology in the classroom.