NEW TECHNOLOGY: Students Get iPads

Students at Johnston High have packed up their papers and pens and turned them in for a new piece of technology.

“It was really exciting, I was excited to use it and it`s very helpful in class,” says Junior Natalie Parker.

Johnston High handed out nearly 1,400 iPads costing the district $1.5 million dollars, and students couldn’t be happier.

“I like it a lot and I think it`s going to help me grow and give me a lot more tools to learn,” says Senior Victoria Trost.

However, with a new piece of technology comes an increase in school security to make sure the devices are being used correctly.

“Safety was one of the first things we thought about when putting the iPads out, we have filters that are filtering content, anything that will be filtered in the school will also  be filtered on their iPads,” says Johnston High School iPad Specialist Ryan Witt.

Certain websites and searches are blocked when the iPad is being used on and off school grounds.

Student emails are also monitored and an iPad can be searched at any time.

“Online safety is big, so we`re worried about content, so anything that would have inappropriate content is going to be blocked from the get go, and we choose to keep people away from the social media sites, currently as well,” says Witt.

Educators say the students don’t seem to mind, and are impressed by how much it’s helping in the classroom.

“The environment has changed dramatically, it`s an environment of collaboration, and new learning, and as an educator, probably the most moving week of my life,” says Johnston High School Instructional Technology Coordinator Ann Wiley.

So with a few swipes students can now take notes, follow along with the teacher, keep a planner and download and share educational apps – all in an effort to keep up with the times.

“I do think that a one-to-one environment like this is the wave of the future as far as technology in the classroom,” says Witt.

Several other districts in the Metro have similar safe guards in place to keep students from using school-issued computers in-appropriately.

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