Blog // Connect Nevada

New Technology Stirs Passion for Learning in Esmeralda County

By Jeremy Thacker

Students and teachers are enjoying an increased passion for learning thanks to new technology being used in the Esmeralda County School District!

iPads and iPod Touch devices are now in the hands of every single student in the district and teacher John Scates says they’re making a big impact.

“We are a rural school district with small class sizes and have multi-grade classrooms. iPads help students develop their independence because it’s possible for nearly all students to operate with little instruction. This is very helpful teaching important skills, such as math facts. And student engagement is much higherusing the iPad than using pencil and paper.”

This is the second full school year for the program that started in 2010. Since then, the iPod program has made the district’s other computers nearly obsolete!

“We have many computers in our classrooms, but the iPads have become our conduit to the Internet simply because they are always on, always connected, and totally portable,” says Scates. “While they do not completely replace our PCs, they come very close!”

A statewide professional development program is to credit for Esmeralda’s “iPod revolution.” The Pathway Project’s goal was to introduce new technology into classrooms across Nevada. The experiment was so successful, the district quickly found money in its budget to supply all Kindergarten through third graders with iPods and fourth through eighth graders with iPads.

“Students are more engaged when they are able to use the iPad to assist them in theirclasswork,” Scates says. “Since our students have grown up with technology, the iPad is a natural extension for them. While any technology program will never take the place of effective teaching, we’ve discovered that iPads can certainly add to the education experience!”

For the very latest on broadband news in Nevada, make sure to keep up with Connect Nevada. Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

*Special thanks to Esmeralda County School District Superintendent Gary Gazaway and teacher John Scates for contributing to this blog

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