Gowanda students show off iPads at board meeting

GOWANDA – Students in the Gowanda Central School district are having a more hands-on approach to learning with the help of iPads.

Students and fourth-grade teachers Alicia Robbins and Cheryl Tripp presented to the board how the iPads are used in the classroom as a teaching resource.

Rob Miller of Erie 1 BOCES also attended the meeting to explain the training teachers received. The iPads were made available through a grant through BOCES and were brought into the classroom prior to Thanksgiving. According to Miller, the iPads are going to be returned to BOCES following the board meeting. All teachers were given training prior to the iPads being dropped off.

“We showed (teachers) how to use them and how to implement them,” Miller said.

The day the iPads were dropped off to the students, Robbins said the students were so excited and were chanting “iPads.” Fourth-grade students visited with each member on the board showing their iPad apps and how they are used for school.

“A virtual dropbox is being used to turn in homework,” Robbins said. “It’s been amazing.”

Not only were the iPads available in the elementary school, but students in the high school also used them. Student Board member Cayleigh Pracht said her classes as a senior have been more engaging with the iPads.

“It’s nice to have iPads in class,” she said.

Members of the board were thrilled to have the students come in and show off the technology. Board member Lynn Hammond was impressed with the technology and thought that some of the apps were harder than they looked.

“It’s work but it’s fun,” she said. “It is a new way for introducing material.”

Board member Joseph DeCarlo was “awfully impressed” with the iPad program.

Susan Flaherty, board member, was also impressed and enjoyed seeing the young students come in. The school district has bought a set of iPads to keep in the classroom for the new science wing in the high school. Superintendent Charles Rinaldi thanked Robbins and Tripp for taking the plunge with the iPads.

“Thanks for putting your toe in the water. Thanks for taking the dive,” he said.

Rinaldi also announced the district has applied for a grant for a $200,000 after-school grant. Chautauqua Opportunities Inc. would be the lead agency while Healthy Community Alliance would help with a family support center in connection with the after-school program.

The board also approved Rebecca Grudzien and Meghan Himelein as substitute teaching assistants.

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