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November 2, 2012

Bye-bye textbooks

Sparhawk High School makes high-tech leap to iPads

AMESBURY — In an effort to modernize and streamline their education, Sparhawk High School students have a new tool at their disposal.

Every student at Sparhawk High has been issued a personal iPad, which they can bring home with them after school and even keep after graduation.

Kaitlyn MacDonald, director of Sparhawk High School, said the school decided to invest in the iPads so that both students and teachers could have better access to resources available online.

She said the iPads have gone over extremely well in the classrooms so far.

“Our students are using their iPads in every class, every day,” MacDonald said.

Sparhawk students use the iPads for everything from taking notes to recording entire classes for future reference. History teacher Luis Moreno said that the tablets have virtually eliminated the need for textbooks, saying anything that needs to be explained can be quickly looked up.

“If we’re explaining how flint was one of the things used by early settlers and I have a student who’s never seen flint before, we can pull it up on Google Images and the students can see it for themselves as a visual reference,” Moreno said. “When it comes to visual support, there’s nothing more practical than an iPad.”

Students agree, saying the iPads allow for a much more dynamic learning experience than a textbook.

“If you’re not understanding something, you can look it up and see it in a picture or some other form,” Katie Flynn said. “The multimedia aspect helps you understand quicker if you’re having trouble.”

In addition to being a peerless reference tool, the iPads also allow teachers to post assignments on the school’s Edline website, which students can then download and access through their tablet.

“We don’t need to photocopy sheets of paper anymore,” Moreno said. “And the students don’t need to worry about misplacing assignments, because they can all be accessed online.”

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