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Rural Technology Grant paves the way for iPads in Celeste ISD classroom

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April 14, 2011 - iPads will soon make their way into the hands of CISD students. This innovative technology project was funded through the Rural Technology Grant that was awarded to the district in the fall of 2010.

Each campus will have a mobile cart of 25 iPads to use in the classroom. With a 10-hour battery, iPads are much more mobile than laptops. It features a 9.7 inch screen, weighs 1.5 pounds, and has a high-resolution display with multi-touch capability.

The iPad offers applications such as The Elements in which the learner can inspect and rotate 360 degrees each element in the Periodic Table. The 3-D Brain app allows interactive exploration of a 3-dimensional brain to discover where structures are located within the brain. Text-to-speech apps such as Dragon Dictation, TapToTalk, and the iBook app promote reading fluency, comprehension and communication skills.

A student can choose a book from the iBook library and simply hold their finger on a word to have the word read out loud, access a dictionary to look up the meaning of the word, highlight or make a note to review later and bookmark the page.

One goal of the Rural Technology Grant was to enhance the foreign language curriculum. There are many apps that are geared toward second language learners. These apps are available for translation between languages which helps to build skills that encourage reading and speaking fluency.

The iTunes app store also offers many apps for students with learning disabilities. There are thousands of free apps for all ages that support educational core-content as well as electives such as music and the arts.

CISD looks forward to implementing the iPads to give teachers great new ideas and creative pathways to engage 21st Century learners.

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