Xavier High School Gets iPads for Every Student

By Christina Targosz, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - It's out with the old and in with the new at Xavier High School as textbooks now sit unused in most classrooms.

"There's just so much you can do on the iPad that you can't do with a notebook and pencil," Nina Noronha, a senior at Xavier, said.

The school gave each student an iPad to be used during class time. At the touch of a finger, they can access all of their books and notes for each class.

"You have all of your classes here you can click on one, I was doing my math homework on here earlier," Noronha said.

Some teachers say this new way of teaching gives the students a renewed appreciation for the lessons taught each day.

"They're very engaged and it seems like this generation needs to be engaged more than just sitting at a desk and having somebody talk at them," Sue May, a Theology teacher at Xavier, said. "They're all about getting in there and doing and being engaged in technology."

All of the different apps available give students more freedom to do school projects in a creative way.

"You don't have to tell them how to do it, but tell them what you want the end result to be and kids can come up with different ways to show you what they've learned," Angela Olson, Associate Principal of Xavier, said.

And it's a learning experience for the teachers as well. The iPad's bring countless new possibilities to daily lesson plans.

"We come up with creative ways every single day, [we say] 'OK, how can we use the iPad now and what are we going to teach today?" May said.

Teachers said these new lesson plans give them the opportunity to move around the classroom and interact with more students.

"I think it will help us overall just being able to teach more effectively and engage the students," May said, "That's where they're at in their culture today and that's where we need to go to be effective in teaching them."

And what's nice is that instead of a backpack full of heavy books, all they have to carry is a lightweight iPad.
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