Businesses give iPads to Teralba Public School 

IPADS are being used at Teralba Public School to boost learning, following kind donations from businesses in the area.

Teacher Melanie White said pupils had responded well to using apps on the tablets to learn about maths and words.

‘‘We use the apps as an additional learning tool to reinforce concepts being taught,’’ Ms White said.

IPad use in schools is a growing trend.

In the UK, teacher David Andrews conducted an experiment last year using apps in the classroom.

Mr Andrews, a self-confessed Apple fanatic, found the devices were great for reading and had ‘‘endless possibilities to be used creatively in any subject in the school curriculum’’.

He said in a recent blog in The Guardian that the devices led to pupils ‘‘becoming more independent and able to direct their own learning’’.

Ms White said she realised the potential of iPads for learning when she bought one for her three-year-old.

‘‘I started looking at the apps and seeing how good they were for education,’’ Ms White said.

‘‘I saw a 60 Minutes story with autistic kids using iPads and thought it would be really beneficial to help kids engage in the classroom.’’

The problem was finding money to pay for them.

She sent letters to businesses in the area asking for help.

The school, which had 70 students in three classes, was in a low socio-economic area in which opportunities to use the latest technologies were limited.

The aim was to raise enough money to buy 12 iPads, but the response was so good 18 were able to be bought.

Despite concerns about kids being glued to screens for too long, the benefits appear to outweigh any negatives.

‘‘The major advantage is the students are extremely engaged in their learning as the iPads are so interactive,’’ Ms White said.

COOL SCHOOL: Jaidyn Marinos, 11, Sophie Goodbun, 7 and Amber Harrison, 11, enjoy their new iPads. Picture: Jonathan Carroll