DALLAS TWP. – Dallas Middle School teachers may feel a twinge of envy – or at least regret – when they walk by Sam Barbose's classroom and see his students working with 30 new iPads.
The computer tablets come courtesy of the 1-year-old Dallas Foundation for Education Excellence, and Barbose got them simply by being one of the few teachers to take advantage of the new entity and suggest the iPad project.
We didn't get many proposals, Foundation Treasurer Kristin Gattuso said. We're hoping showing this off will encourage more teachers to apply for assistance. Anyone can submit an application for a project, big or small.
The foundation raised a bit more than $16,000 to buy the iPads and related equipment that connects them to a projector that displays an iPad screen onto a computerized white board. The foundation is a non-profit corporation that takes advantage of the state's Education Improvement Tax Credit program. Businesses making donations can get up to a 90 percent tax credit for the amount they contribute.
Barbose said only his iPad connects to the projector and smart board, but that the others could and eventually will connect so students can collaborate on projects and show off work.
He spent part of his sixth-grade science class Friday showing students how to create computerized flash cards, akin to the old idea of index cards with key points written on each side.
Students can access the Internet through the school's filter, so you have to walk around the room and make sure they stay on task, he admitted, but that advantage will allow them to email their flash cards and other work to each other or to themselves at home, as well as to research on the web.
Barbose said he'd like to get software that would let students store work online so they could access it anywhere with an iPad.
Blaine Rex had no trouble handling the simple assignments Barbose gave in creating the computerized flash cards, so much so that he sat idle for a moment while Barbose helped another student. Rex said he has a computer at home, though not an iPad, and that I like it.
Gattuso said this was by far the biggest project of the foundation, formed in September last year.
It has also given graduates small scholarships and provided money to the high school Mountaineer Marketplace, a student-operated school store.
Middle School Principal Thomas Duffy said iPads were also purchased for 10 teachers, with plans to expand their use into other classrooms.