are not the only students this year leaping into the technological classroom.
The Diocese of Paterson, which oversees in Morristown, has announced they and four other schools are receiving Apple iPads this school year.
Nearly 350 students in grades 6-8 will be receiving iPads through the support of donations and state grants. Other schools on the list include St. Pius X School of Montville, St. Patrick School of Chatham and St. Anthony School of Hawthorne. In addition, St. Michael School of Netcong, which ran a pilot program last year for eighth-graders will expand its program to students in the sixth and seventh grades.
“We want our students to be highly competitive,” said John Fanelli, assistant superintendent of technology for the Diocese of Paterson. “Not just in New Jersey, but globally.
“This generation reacts to the iPad much more easily than to the traditional textbook. It engages them, simply because of the exciting array of multimedia,” Fanelli said. “Kids understand technology much more than their parents do and can learn from it.”
Funding for the program was neither cheap nor easy, the assistant superintendent said. “There are some state grant programs to save some of the costs, but there were donations and generous donors who helped out,” he said, noting most of the donations have gone toward support of hardware, training and software.
To maximize the educational value of the iPad, students will be using educational websites such as Khan Academy and the Net Texts app from iTunes, which converts traditional paper textbooks to online textbooks. The lessons will be accompanied with interactive video and sound clips.
"They will never miss a beat," Fanelli said.