By Bill Hudson

By Bill Hudson, WCCO-TV

LITTLE FALLS, Minn. — It’s quiz time for math students in a Little Falls fifth-grade class. But instead of pouring through textbooks, they’re navigating touch screens. Apple iPads are on every student’s desk.

“It’s like, awesome,” said fifth-grader Jenna Mrosla.

She finds learning the iPad far easier than thumbing through pages of text or even navigating a PC.

“It’s easy because when you click, wherever you touch is where it is. I don’t have to worry about clicking the wrong spot,” said Jenna.

The use of iPads in the classroom has been an experiment this school year, but district officials and teachers say it has gone so well, they’ve decided to purchase an additional 1,450 of the tablet computers for next year. iPads will be in the hands of all students in grades 5-12.

Teachers like Carrie Youngberg said the technology available to her fifth-graders is already making a big difference.

“It’s a totally new motivation when we roll the cart in and they (iPads) come out. I think some of our harder to reach students are tuned in and ready to go,” Youngberg explained.

Part of the beauty of making the switch to iPads is the immediate access it gives students to texts, lectures and other learning materials.

It’s likely that in the near future, iPads will eliminate the need for paper textbooks. Everything the student needs will be stored in their personal library.

Part of the district’s goal is to cut paper costs up to 95 percent. That alone will help recover the $1.1 million in capitol costs.

But equally as important is the need to keep all texts and materials up to date.

Mark Diehl is the district’s technology director and says that has long been a problem with conventional books.

“We’re going to move to online resources that are up to date and current, instead of textbooks that are basically out of date before it arrives in our district,” said Diehl.

Comments (13)
  1. van says:

    That should be “poring” over textbooks. Geez.

  2. rpl says:

    what a pile of BS, the general public can’t afford these toys, what a waste of public money,,its no wonder peoiple are down on the education system

    1. tiredandretired says:

      They spend a fortune on textbooks, copy paper, copiers, etc. and in no time, the textbooks are outdated. They can download multiple, up to date textbooks on an iPod at a fraction of the cost. They are actually trying to save money and they will, if the kids don’t break the iPads.

    2. Mark says:

      I see the education system did wonders for you. Peoiple?

  3. tiredandretired says:

    Drop a textbook and you might have to dust it off or use some book tape to fix it. Drop an iPad and see how easily you can fix it. Yeah, good luck with that.

  4. Jeff says:

    They have to have some type of replacement program with apple. Otherwise I’m sure they would not be able to do this. One would think that they are getting a volume discount and maybe a relationship discount too. They have to have some type of plan to replace broken and stolen ipads.

  5. BBM says:

    It appears LIttle Falls is willing to move into a new direction with education that people who respond with negative criticism can not comprehend. I say good luck, it is time to change the way we educate our children!

  6. Dan says:

    Within 10 years, all schools will be doing this. Little Falls is ahead of the curve.

  7. Steve says:

    @Van: If you’re going to comment on an education story, you might want to learn how to spell!

    1. tk52 says:

      What is wrong with his/her spelling?
      Poring is correct, pouring(in the article) is not.

  8. I am attending highschool in little falls next year. I have already used the iPads in class and I can assure you that they are well taken care of. It is said that each student might be paying a fee so it isn’t like they’re just handing them out and we have no value put into it if it breaks, it is also possible that we students will have to pay if we break it, so please people. This isn’t a school of jerks.

  9. Matt says:

    It is nice to see that some people understand that the educational system that most of us grew up in is no longer working to prepare our students for the real world.
    Open up your eyes and minds folks. Think of the things you do today that are no longer like you did when you grew up. Accept change and keep up as a country or deny the reality and fall behind as we have done for the last 25 years. Get on with it people.

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