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iPads and Adventist Education:  A Natural Fit

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Bass Memorial Academy along with Madison Academy became the first two academies in the Southern Union to pilot a 1-1 iPad initiative.  I have never seen a device that naturally fits the needs of students and teachers on so many different levels.  From web browser to e-textbook to graphing calculator to Bible research tool to student planner, this device does so much at a price that allows smaller schools like ours to get on board.

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What makes this device so affordable?  Student textbook costs are on the rise.  You can pay anywhere from $80 to $150 for a single title.  Publishers are starting to see the necessity of offering their books in a digital format at a reduced price.  This above any other factor provided our school the green light to move ahead with this initiative.  Most of the e-textbooks available come in at around $60 for a six year license.  Spreading that cost out over the six years allows our school to get textbooks, iPads, and additional apps at about the same cost we have been paying for traditional textbooks.  Our students have about 75% of their textbooks on their iPad providing them lightweight portability and increased organization.  We have not had even one lost iPad which is more than I can say for our paper textbooks.

 

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What advantages do iPads bring to the classroom beyond e-textbooks?  In short, they are called apps.  You may have heard the phrase, “There’s an app for that!”  That is mostly true.  With thousands and thousands of apps to choose from, developers are constantly creating content to provide a rich learning experience for students.  iPads and education have been a fit from the beginning with Apple recognizing its usefulness in the classroom.  Not only do you have a portal to the internet at every seat, but you have interactive apps for every student.  Imagine an interactive 3D labeled skeleton with a quiz feature to help A&P students learn the bones, a virtual tour of ancient Rome, complete with interactive panoramic views of the ancient city utilizing the iPad’s built in gyroscopes to guide your movements, an interactive Algebra app with embedded videos that go along with the lessons providing additional on-demand instruction, or a moving interactive periodic table describing and encouraging an exploration of the elements.  The possibilities are endless and affordable.  Most of these supplemental apps cost between $1 and $5.

 
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How can the iPad influence the student’s spiritual life?  Many of you reading this article have seen your pastors using an iPad either during their sermon, or in their free time.  The iPad is an amazing Bible research tool.  This is largely in part to the generosity of the White Estate for making their app free for the iPad.  Students have access to all of the published writings of Ellen White and a KJV Bible.  Both of these works are fully searchable and you have highlight, bookmark, and note taking abilities.  In addition to this, Remnant Publications has made the audio Testimonies available to our students at no cost to them for use on the school iPads.  We are making connections with Adventist musicians who have agreed to let us put their music on the iPads so the students can have quality wholesome music to listen to in their dorms.  

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This is truly a tool that can be used to rightly train our youth more effectively both inside the classroom and without.  At Bass Memorial Academy, we have found our iPads to be a natural fit.

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