iPad pilot continues with freshman algebra

Math teacher Dominique Davis
Math teacher Dominique Davis

By Maddie Conway
Executive News Editor
Math teacher Dominique Davis has always been interested in technology and its use in the classroom. She already uses anEno Board in her math classes and also owns a tablet computer.
So when social science teacher Erik Hodges’ AP Human Geography classes began a pilot program with Apple iPads at the beginning of first semester, Davis saw the tablets as “just one more piece of technology that [she hoped would] enhance students’ experience” and engage them in the class.
With that in mind, Davis approached Academic Technology Coordinator Frank Novak about the possibility of including her own classes in the iPad pilot. Two sections of Davis’ 60s Algebra classes — 60 iPad units, according to Novak — will become part of the pilot at the start of second semester.
According to Technology Systems Supervisor Rudy Gomez, because students were placed in Davis’ class before the pilot was planned, they will have the option of opting out of the program and instead continue class with pen and paper.
But for those who do choose to participate, the class will be digitally-based with notes taken on the iPads. Davis said she is also looking into taking tests and quizzes on the tablets, like Hodges’ classes, which take their multiple choice tests on the district Moodle website.
Davis said she looks forward to the technology’s impact on students and their involvement in class, especially that having all of their notes in one place — the iPad — could help students’ organization skills as well as making them more engaged in their note-taking.
“I love technology, and I think that it’s the best way to engage kids nowadays because technology is so accessible,” Davis said. “It really opens doors for a lot of kids. Kids are more apt to be on their iPad , or their iPhone, or on their computer rather than traditional things, so I just think it’s one more avenue to reach every kid.”
Freshman Nick Rodriguez, for example, is in Davis’ sixth-hour algebra class and will be using an iPad next semester. Rodriguez agreed that he would use it for school work, mostly taking notes. He has tried using an iPad before, and he said he “liked using it OK.”
Gomez said the goal of the pilot will be to “mimic what Hodges’ class is doing” in terms of the digital nature of the class. Davis said while her curriculum will be more math-oriented than Hodges’ social science class, she will try to incorporate strategies that he uses in his classes into hers as well.
“I’m really excited — really pumped — for the upcoming semester,” Davis said.