Digging Deeper: I-pads and digital tablets in schools - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Digging Deeper: I-pads and digital tablets in schools

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Technology may be the key to improving test scores in the Dougherty County Schools.

A pilot program this spring and summer is getting rave reviews and test scores went up drastically.  Now the school system is looking at a more permanent computer tablet program for the system.

One of the obstacles is cost, but they're not the only school system considering these steps.

Dougherty County Schools rank seventh of 180 school systems for their computer to student ratio. This spring and summer the school system rolled out a pilot program using I-pads in the classroom.

"The whole purpose of this is to prove kids are driven by technology," said Jarda Robinson,South Side Middle School 8th Grade Math Teacher.

Giving students the opportunity to be the teacher.

"Can you show me another way to do it, can you teach it to another student and studies have shown students learn better through their peers," said Robinson.

Digging deeper we found out the results on preliminary tests given before the program launched and at the program's completion were like night and day.

"South Side Middle School scores increase drastically last year," said Robinson.

It's why School Board members are looking at not only I-pads but several other tablet programs, trying to find one that fits the system and the cost.

"I am not satisfied with just being average, I want to move ahead, I want to make tremendous progress, by putting technology in the classroom, in the students hands," said Dougherty County School Board member Darrel Ealum.

That's why pilot programs like what was done at South Side Middle School are so important.

"We're going to use these pilot programs and if we're comfortable that they're working then we're going to extend them throughout the entire system," said Ealum.

They're already using the I-pads in every period this year for Math. It's got students excited and wanting to take classes where the technology is available. It's also why the school has formed a technology committee to plan for the school systems future.

The first technology committee meeting is Thursday at 4:00 PM. We're told Dr. Murfree is already budgeting three to five years out for adding technology like digital tablets to the school system.

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