Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

November 30, 2012

VECA integrates modern tech into classrooms

VALDOSTA — Valdosta Early College Academy has trailblazed the Apple revolution for education by becoming the only school in the area to give every student an iPad.

“We are one to one now,” said Dr. Brian Gerber, Valdosta State University’s director of curriculum, instruction and outreach. “One iPad to every student.”

Last summer, VECA began the initiative to place an iPad with every student. They were first given to 10th graders who took them home over the summer to do various reading assignments.

On Wednesday, all of VECA’s 48 sixth graders received their iPads, growing the complete iPad distribution to 188 school-wide.

Gerber said integrating iPads into education is not just revolutionary. It’s necessary.

“A school in the next five years that is with the times will have electronic textbooks,” said Gerber. “We are trying to make sure that these VECA students are ready for the world.”

Aside from electronic textbooks, in the very near future, all standardized testing in the state of Georgia will be done electronically.

“We want to try through these iPads to individualize instruction,” said Gerber. “So we can better prepare each individual student for college and beyond.”

The iPads will enable all VECA students to always have the most updated information.

“Now days, by the time a textbook is printed, it’s already out of date,” said Gerber.

The iPads have also made traditional “note taking” an archaic art. Students will also be able to be more connected to teachers and their lessons.

“We want to be able to capture teachers lessons on the iPads,” said Gerber. “They can go home and watch it on their iPad.”

In the classroom, teachers can go through a powerpoint while students read it on their own device. A teacher can take a student’s iPad and project work for the class to see. Students can type reports in class faster than they can write them, and then print them out wirelessly in the classroom.

The world will be at their fingertips and the educational possibilities will be endless.

For one student, eighth-grader Annalise Wojcik, it’s a dream come true.

“It’s made school less boring,” said Wojcik. “This is like a dream come true.”

Wojcik said her class and teachers use the iPads nearly all of the time.

Wojcik also commented on the different learning styles achieved through the technology. If students don’t understand a lesson audibly, they can see it on their iPads. They can focus their time and efforts absorbing the information as opposed to rushing to take notes so that they may understand it later.

The integration of iPads throughout VECA was not an easy feat.

“First we had to prepare the teachers,” said Dr. Andy Brovey of iPad Academy.

Before even the first iPad cam to VECA, Brovey spent his time working with teachers and showing them how to utilize the technology in the classroom.

“My primary role was to support what they were doing,” said Brovey. “And then set up the iPads so they were ready to go.”

Brovey had to help find apps that were conducive to VECA’s goals, and he even had to tackle the issue of making the iPads’ safe.

Gerber said several things were put in place to make sure the students are only accessing the appropriate apps. Aside from attending an hour-and-a-half-long orientation, the iPads have a fail-safe installed so that whatever app that is downloaded, can’t be deleted.

“Every app that they download can’t be deleted,” said Gerber. “We’re the only ones that can delete it.”

VECA is now fully outfitted to take its students into the future and beyond, and even more amazingly, it was done virtually on the academy’s own dime.

“The fundraising for the iPads comes from multiple sources,” said Gerber.

Pecan sales, supplements from the business community, VSU and more paid for every iPad.

“There is no outside grant that is supplying this,” said Gerber.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • City: Most overflows stopped

    The City of Valdosta reported Wednesday evening that all manhole overflows resulting from Tuesday’s heavy rains had stopped, with the exception of two.

    April 17, 2014

  • 140416-gov_deal002.jpg Signed into law

    Gov. Nathan Deal went on a signing tour Wednesday across Georgia, flying into the Valdosta Regional Airport to sign three bills into law.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 2 charged in N.C. kidnapping

    Two more people were charged in the kidnapping of a North Carolina prosecutor’s father, bringing the number to at least eight people who authorities say were involved in the elaborate plot.

    April 17, 2014

  • VSU opens spring senior art show Saturday

    Several graduating art seniors will present their show this weekend at Valdosta State University.

    April 17, 2014

  • 140415-water003.jpg Sewage problems persist

    Early Tuesday morning, Valdosta became saturated when the area received approximately three inches of rain from 4 a.m. to noon. As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, 11 manholes throughout the City of Valdosta have spilled 286,500 gallons of wastewater into local waterways, and this number will continue to rise.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • vsuopera1dido.jpg Operatic Conclusion

    When the curtain lowers this weekend on Valdosta State University Opera’s performance of Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas,” it will not only mark the end of the music group’s season.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘If I Were Mayor’ contest essays

    If I were mayor, I would do all that I possibly can to make the city of Valdosta marvelous, but I cannot do it on my own. Some things in Valdosta I feel it is necessary to focus on would be our literacy rate, unemployment rate, crime history, and our environment.

    April 16, 2014

  • APTOPIX Boston Marath_Stew.jpg Solemn tributes mark Boston Marathon bombing

    Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city’s resilience in the face of a terror attack.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140414-valdostaboe001 copy.jpg Valdosta Board of Education reviews finances

    Valdosta City Schools Board of Education celebrated many successes Monday night, discussed budget information and heard an announcement of intent from a hopeful charter school.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • dancing with the stars copy.jpg Dancing with Valdosta Stars raises scholarship money

    Valdosta State University Music and Theatre & Dance’s Third Annual Dancing with the Stars of Valdosta presented a fine dance show this past weekend.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

What you think about school and workplace rules about Facebook friends?

There have to be rules.
No need for rules, just use common sense.
If people want to be friends, what is the big deal?
Nobody uses Facebook anymore.
     View Results