Star Elementary shows off classroom technology

Star Elementary shows off classroom technology

Credit: Theresa Palmgren/KTVB

Star Elementary shows off classroom technology

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by Natalie Podgorski

KTVB.COM

Posted on March 22, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 7:56 PM

STAR -- Star Elementary School has been working on incorporating technology in all of their classrooms for over a year.  In January, every classroom had either iPads or iTouches for the students.

On Thursday, the school opened up their classrooms for the state schools superintendent and other lawmakers to see how they've brought technology into the school.

On the tour KTVB saw kindergarten students using an app on their iTouches to work on addition, 2nd graders recording themselves reading and 4th graders working on division problems.

The PE teacher even uses an iPad to help teach her class.  She plays videos of children dancing from across the world and then teaches the students the dances they watch.

In December of 2010, the school bought five iPads for the 4th and 5th grade classrooms.  The school also purchased iPads for the teachers.

In January, the school bough 10 iTouches for all the other classrooms.

Each teacher seems to use the technology in slightly different ways.  However, all of the iTouches and iPads have the exact same apps loaded onto them.

The Principal Carla Karnes says technology helps tailor the learning to each student.

"When you make the learning personalized, there is no reason to be off task," said Karnes.  "They are all engaged because they are all doing something at their ability."

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna says he was impressed how focused and excited all the kids were.  He was proud to see how Star Elementary had embraced using technology.

"What we envision is that this isn't the exception to the rule but that this is the norm," said Luna.  "That every school and every classroom in Idaho looks like what you saw here at Star Elementary."

Principal Karnes says since they've added technology behavioral issues have disappeared from the classroom.

The school doesn't have hard data yet on how students learning has improved.  Even without the data, the principal is confident that learning has improved and she's confident this year's test scores will show improvement.  She says students are more engaged and are taking learning home with them.

Currently, eight teachers at Star Elementary are working on getting masters degrees in technology.

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