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Greenwich's Whitby School Rolls Out iPads

GREENWICH, Conn. — Whitby students joined high-tech schools across the nation in trying out iPads in the classroom on their first day of the new year Tuesday.

“We did a beta test this summer, and we’re going to do a test run of a series of applications and integrate them across all of the classrooms,” said Bob Horne, director of communications for the private Integrated International Baccalaureate Montessori school. “It’s really meant to be used as a compliment to learning.”

Whitby parents raised money over the summer to supply the school with 50 iPads. A number of teachers tested the tablets to get familiar with and identify applications to be integrated into classroom lessons.

First and second grade teachers Alyssa Scheper and Jenna Fox are endorsing applications such as “Multi-facts,” a math program set up similarly to the game Sudoku, to help students identify multiplication patterns. Other apps reinforce spelling and reading comprehension. “If a child is struggling with a word, he can touch the word and have it read aloud,” said Horne. Another app, “Bluster,” helps students build knowledge of antonyms, synonyms and prefixes.

“There’s an audio/visual reward when you complete a task or get an answer right,” said Horne. “For instance, in one app, colorful balls come down on the screen and you can use your finger to manipulate them.”

Horne said the teachers are having a “blast” using the iPad applications, and programs are being tested across all grade levels. The school plans to purchase more iPads and expand into all of the classrooms.

Is your child’s school integrating new technology into the classroom? Comment below or email ahelhoski@thedailygreenwich.com.

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