Johnson County pilot program tests iPad use in schools


Kris Kirschner/Eyewitness News

Johnson County - A Johnson County school is among the first to study the applications of Apple's new iPad in education.

It was the second day of school for Center Grove, but a first for seventh graders in Nichole Seal's class. Her class got an Apple from the teacher.

Center Grove Middle School Central is piloting a new program that tests the applications of Apple's new iPad in the classroom by giving them to 17 students learning English as a New Language.

"These are students that come into the classrooms and may now know anything about the English language. How can this help them develop a comfort level and be excited about school?" said Julie Bohnencamp, director of technology.

"If you see anything in your classes you don't understand, we can translate instantly," said Seal.

Just type it in, pick a language and translate in a matter of seconds

"If we have quick and easy access where they can translate simple words for those high level students it just instantly makes it so they're on the same level or almost the same level as their English speaking counterparts," said Seal.

With 30 apps to start with, the learning curve goes beyond translating words and sentences to understanding the entire curriculum.

"Say they're studying art, they can zoom in and see all that so easily," said Seal, demonstrating the iPad's encyclopedic function.

A $10,00 state grant paid for 20 iPads which will be used this school year. But the hope is the applications will expand beyond the classroom.

"Anytime a student can touch and manipulate it just empowers them," said Seal.

This may be the first time they get their hands on Apple's newest innovation, but already these middle school students are beginning to understand it.

"It helps you with speaking and learning a new language," one student said.

"It helps you speak clear in English," said another.

It's not only learning English but 21st century technology, and piloting what many hope is a new course for education.

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