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Pilot program brings iPads into Lodi Unified School District classrooms

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Posted: Friday, July 8, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 8:21 am, Fri Jul 8, 2011.

A select group of Lodi Unified School District teachers will soon begin training to bring iPads into their classrooms in the fall. It's part of the district's push to integrate more technology into daily instruction.

Six teachers at all levels were selected.

The iPads cost $538 per device, according to Dale Munsch, the district's director of technology services.

The district is also purchasing cases for the iPads, charging and synching carts for each classroom, wireless access points for each classroom and a few other peripherals, he said.

The money for this project comes from the district's Enhancing Education Through Technology grants. They are part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, and set aside to assist eligible local educational agencies in using technology to enhance teaching and learning.

Assistant Superintendent Art Hand sees the district's iPad trial as groundbreaking. "(It has) the potential to significantly change the way that we deliver education," he said.

Hand has received positive comments from the teaching staff throughout the process. The level of participation in the application phase speaks well to that with 59 total applications for five potential slots.

"This made the selection process incredibly difficult, but the teachers chosen do represent a fantastic cross-section from a highly-talented pool of educators," Hand said. The following teachers were chosen:

  • Bryan Lum, McNair High
  • Charles Taylor, McAuliffe Middle
  • Chris Funge, Larson Elementary
  • Lisa Fromm, Beckman Elementary
  • Kim Loftin, Wagner Holt Elementary
  • Sonja Renhult, Tokay Colony Elementary

School districts throughout the region are putting iPads into classrooms on a trial basis.

In Calistoga, more than a dozen pre-school students practiced writing letters and reading on the colorful pads this summer. Software loaded onto the devices included interactive stories and songs.

If the children continue to work on their curriculum and the parents attend all the conferences, the family gets to keep the iPad free of charge.

In the Merced County town of Le Grande, all incoming high school freshmen and returning sophomores will be issued iPads. The plan is for every student in the school to have one within five years.

"We need to move our students forward into the 21st century, and the iPad is the perfect tool to help us do that," Superintendent Donna Alley said in a press release.

Like Lodi, the school's devices were paid for through grants.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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