Students handing in their homework on iPads

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Students handing in their homework on iPads

MIDDLE TOWNSHIP – Seventh-grader Brandon Mills used to lose his homework a lot.

Now the 13-year-old of Cape May Court House would have a tough time misplacing assignments.

A group of Middle Township Middle School students have been using iPads throughout their school day since early in the school year. They even take the Apple devices home.

The move is part of bringing more technology to the Middle Township School District.

“They’re excited about learning,” said middle school math teacher Sharon Rementer.

When students are finished with their homework for math class, they email the assignments in. Many of them send their assignments shortly after being home, she said.

Mills sat on a carpet on the floor in the back of the classroom on Thursday, solving math problems.

As he typed on the iPad, he became stuck. He didn’t know the answer to 8 X 3.

Neither did the student beside him.

Another one helped them out. He said 24.

Eventually Mills solved the problem, and with his finger, drew a black circle around the answer.

He continued working on the assignment and occasionally popped up a calculator on the iPad to help him.

Mills said he is not afraid of misplacing the Apple device.

Compared to pencil and paper, he called the iPad easier.

He said he’s also getting better grades because of the device, because he’s not losing assignments.

Ayala Harrison, 13, of Whitesboro had trouble remembering assignments and losing them. With the iPad, though, she said she “can’t lose or forget about it.”

She said she’s accustomed to technology and it’s easier to write on the iPad than putting pencil to paper.

“It’s helped me with a lot of things,” she said.

Harrison said she is able to get help by emailing the teacher.

“It’s better than paper and pencil. And it’s going green,” said 12-year-old Sabrina Andryczak of Cape May Court House.

She called the device awesome, and she likes being able to email friends from the iPad at home and completing homework.

“It’s just easier,” she said.

She gestured toward her binder, indicating that it used to be bulging. Now assignments are stored on the iPad.

Jovann Rodriguez, 12, of Whitesboro, said he also likes being able to do homework on an iPad then play games and listen to music.

“I think it’s cool,” he said.

Other middle school students aren’t getting the chance to use iPads during their school day, Rodriguez said.

The iPad also allows him to learn more, he said, being able to easily research. He is also able to set up reminders when assignments are due.

“They’re just taking learning to a whole new level,” Rementer said.

Having iPads available to some students throughout the day and not others has created some jealousy, Rementer said.  But the hope is that one day all students will have their own iPad, she said.

“I think a lot of them are evaluating the experience,” middle school math teacher Kristin Stiles said.

She said students are anxious to show people they can do more with the iPads “than the basics.”

Besides math, students use the iPads in literacy and social studies.

“We think it’s a way to motivate our students,” said school district Superintendent Michael Kopakowski.

Middle Township Middle School has used iPads at the district for several years; the devices have also been used at the high school. The township’s elementary No. 2 school received its first Apple devices this summer, and elementary school No. 1 began using iPads during the 2011-12 school year.

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