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Published October 18, 2012, 08:22 PM

Despite objections, iPads staying in three area schools

Barnesville, MN (WDAY TV) -- Perham, Pelican Rapids and Barnesville are three area schools seeing dramatic changes in how students learn in classrooms. And it appears the I-pad is here to stay, despite some objections from parents and their children.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Barnesville, MN (WDAY TV) -- Perham, Pelican Rapids and Barnesville are three area schools seeing dramatic changes in how students learn in classrooms. And it appears the I-pad is here to stay, despite some objections from parents and their children.

In Mr. Strand's 8th grade science class in Barnesville, the students are getting used to school without piles of paper and textbooks.

Nate Strand/Barnesville Teacher: "It is a tool for good teachers to use efficiently and make the material more interesting and come alive for the students more so."

Taylor Swanson for example can show us the test he is taking now, notes for the class, homework assignments, all on the I-pad.

Taylor: "That link is on my website."

Which are in the hands of every Barnesville student. Kindergarten on up.

Holly Inniger has been the one chosen to pilot the students and staff through unchartered waters. At first internet strength was a problem. But for the most part, students and their families are trying to get familiar with this new style of teaching and learning.

Holly Inger/Barnesville Teacher: "It is their world, I mean that is the biggest thing. We have had headaches and playing catch-up but as far as kids being prepared for the next level, this is it."

Margo Brady/Mother of students: "What got me more upset is when I heard they would not issue text books, the Ipad was the textbook."

But not everyone is sold. Margo Brady and her children say too much time is wasted in the classroom. The internet too slow, they say, and they question if they are learning.

Maverick Brady/Student: "The most technical class is science, our text book is emailed to us, quizes on line, tests on line."

There are first year growing pains, I just think they jumped in a little too quickly with the all or nothing principal,could have been merged in slowly and used in moderation.

Another parent sent us a copy of a letter she sent to the Minnesota's Dept. Of Education. Saying she is thinking of pulling her children out of the Barnesville school.

This is a learning tool we are using so you are denying the child an education if you are not allowing them to use it.

But school officials tells us, this is here to stay. These are the tools this generation uses. And so academically and socially, it will be technology, not Dick and Jane paper-books, that will be the tool to help a teachers teach.

Parents are asked to pay a 50-dollar insurance fee for a student's use of the I-pad. The school most recently pulled games and instant messaging off the I-pads.

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