Remember these Murch fifth graders? We introduced you to these intrepid student journalists last spring. Well, now there’s a new crop of fifth graders – eleven of them – roaming the halls of Murch Elementary and sniffing out stories.
Murch Gets a Tech Start With Much More Ahead
by Annie Hedgepeth and Sofia Nicocelli
Murch Blue and Gold student reporters
Forty small tablet computers, known as iPads, are being used in the 4th and 5th grades for math, reading, science and assessments.
Principal Chris Cebrzynski said there will be more tech developments at Murch, starting in 2015.
“I don’t want to buy more iPads next year because the year after next we are getting a renovation and they are putting in lots of technology,” he said.
“We are figuring out what technology to put in the building, like multiple screens in a room with surround sound, laptops, and computers that are built into the desks.”
One way the iPads are used now may be seen in Beth Ward’s 4th grade class, where the students researched their non-fiction writing topics.
Students in Timothy Patterson’s 4th grade class gathered information on native Americans with their iPads.
“I like the iPads because they help with learning and it saves paper,” said 5th grader Vasiiki Marca.
Marie May, who is in the 4th grade, added: “I like that there is an Internet access so it is easier to look up assignments.”
The educational uses of Murch’s iPads could increase, too. For instance, librarian Regina Bell said she hopes “to get iTunes cards so I can download more educational apps (applications).”
There have been some problems, noted Charles Chalfant, a 5th grade teacher.
For example, he said, students struggled with the reading part of the tests that measure their knowledge of English and mathematics over periods of six to eight weeks. The difficulty arose when the students discovered that they had to zoom in to do the reading, then zoom out to see the question.
But overall, Mr.Chalfont concluded, “the iPads are very productive. They extend, enhance and engage students in their learning.”