Parents and students get first hand look at iPad Initiative - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Parents and students get first hand look at iPad Initiative

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Parents and students got hands-on with their brand new iPads in Beckley on Saturday.

The iRaleigh Kickoff Event took place at Tamarack where school personnel and a technology team were available to answer questions. It's the latest and greatest technology children all over the world are excited about, and now it'll also be used to further the education of the future.

59News took us there and found out everything you'll want to know about the new technology coming to your classrooms.

"It will be more exciting to do my homework on it," said 2nd grader Mackenzie McDaniels.

"We have different groups here showing parents certain app's that will be used and just how easy it is to use an iPad. We are also showing them how protective it is, we have a video that actually shows the iPad being thrown down the stairs and surviving," Raleigh County technology coordinator Mary Ann Foster said.

While a video is showing, proving the durability of the cases of the iPads, 59News wanted to give it a test drive of our own. We threw the iPad on the floor and it still worked and didn't shatter.

If an app, e-book or game isn't working properly, we're told regional technicians will be on hand regularly to fix them. Foster said iPad's will be loaned to the students for a short time if the device can't be fixed on the spot.

While the end goal will be to go completely paperless, for now, only Social Studies will be available on the iPad. She gave us the inside scoop on the possibility of inappropriate content on the tablets.

"Under our network, they will be filtered. It's just like any other computer, they will not be able to download or go to sites that are not appropriate. At home, if they have wifi at home, just like with any other computer, that has to be a parent responsibility," Foster told us.

One grandparent sees the environmental values of the new technology, not just the educational benefit.

"Our society is encouraging people to go green and get away from the paper, stop killing the trees. Technology is a way of doing that," said Thomas Parham.

There will be 5 more regional meetings at Middle Schools across Raleigh County. They will be posted on the School Board's website within a few weeks.