Metro School Enters Digital Age with iPads for Students

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - Reading, writing and arithmetic at Fire Prairie Middle School in the Fort Osage School District are getting a complete overhaul.

"The fractions get harder and the time starts going faster on this," said fifth grader, Riley Dollins, 11.

Starting this week, students will use the power of their pointer fingers as they learn lessons on their brand new iPads.

"It's different because we don't have to work on work sheets and we don't have to write.  We can just push buttons," said Lilli Delillo, 10, a fifth grader.

The school district was able to buy the iPads, which will be used in communications and math classes, thanks to a $91,000 grant from the Missouri Dept. of Education.

"We will continue to look at how we can purchase technology and put it in students' hands to help them practice skills, to help them learn to new skills, to help them collaborate and really build their capacity of understanding at a higher level," said district assistant superintendent Maria Fleming.

With the grant, the school purchased 120 iPads, two Apple MacBooks and training for the teachers who will use the technology.

"It's just so rewarding to have them have fun, yet you know they left your classroom learning something for the day," said fifth grade math teacher Joni Frevert.

Due to the terms of the grant, Fire Prairie can only use the iPads for Math and Communication classes this year.  However, once the new school year starts in the Fall, they can be used in any class.

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