iPads for elementary students have arrived at Highlands School

K-4th grade students at Highlands School are in for a treat this morning as 106 iPads were delivered yesterday after a year-long effort by The Literacy Council to improve literacy, and learning in general using technology. Beginning today, elementary students will have a 1 to 1 student/iPad ratio at Highlands School.

Pictured at the top of the article are from left The Literacy Council Program Manager Tonya Dee Anderson and Executive Director Bonnie Potts surrounded by iPads for Highlands School elementary students in the School’s media center.

More iPads are on the way for students at TLC and staff at both institutions will be using the same programs and seamlessly communicating with each other about a student’s needs to address any issues they may have.

“We wanted to be able to communicate with the teachers and offer the same programs to be consistent with what the school is working on,” said TLC Executive Director Bonnie Potts. “This opens up so many opportunities for the students to learn.”

Macon County Schools LAN Tech Colby Anderson delivers the iPads encased in charging stations to each classroom on Monday at Highlands School. The iPads were secured by The Literacy Council through a gift of $50,000.

The iPads were purchased through a gift from Art and Angela Williams, owners of Old Edwards Hospitality Group. First-grade Teacher Bonnylin Covey said having a 1-1 ratio will help in a number of ways, especially during group work. Highlands High School students already have a 1-1 ratio.

“There are all these programs my students use that help with reading and math and they are so motivated to use them, but we only have two computers,” said Covey. “Now I’ll be able to do all my groupwork on iPads and no one will say they don’t have an iPad or get jealous. This is going to be so much fun, it’s so exciting.”

Covers for the iPads were purchased by a donation from the Swift Foundation in coordination with Advanced Highlands Education Committee. AHEC is made up of members of the community who have come together with the goal of raising private capital to improve the infrastructure at Highlands School.

The iPads were delivered by Macon County Schools LAN Tech Colby Anderson who said the iPads are programmed for each student and teacher with their own Apple ID without the commerce capability, which is an ID account system developed by Apple specifically for students and educators.

Each iPad is programmed for individual students and teachers with an Apple ID account already set up in their name.

“The iPads are all set up for students and teachers and they’re all connected,” said Anderson. “Teachers can go on their iPad and see a student’s screen to help with a problem or make sure the student is working on what they’re supposed to. There’s really a lot they’re going to be able to do with these.”

Students were not present when the iPads were delivered as it was a teacher-work day. Stay tuned to Plateau Daily News to get the student’s reaction to the new tech.

Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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