Wausau students ditch textbooks for tablets - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau students ditch textbooks for tablets


As you walk into John Lakus's 8th grade classroom you'd be hard pressed to find a notebook, a textbook, or even a pen. That's because students at Horace Mann Middle School in Wausau have gone digital.

"The students have responded beautifully," Principal Julie Sprague said.

In October, the Wausau School District began a pilot program that puts iPads in the hands of about 1,000 elementary and middle school students. District leaders say the goal of the program is to increase interest in learning.

"Virtually the walls of the classroom are gone and they can access the information 24/7," Sprague said.

For 8th grader Ian Mccue, having an iPad in the classroom does just that.

"I like it because I can look things up easier," Mccue said.

Not only is it great for research, Mccue says the tablet helps him communicate with his teachers and organize his work, even making some assignments more fun.

"It gives you the feeling that everything is right at your fingertips," Mccue explained. "Now, you just take one thing to class, not a notebook, textbook and a folder."

And teachers agree. But, say the shift of the traditional classroom is a bit of a learning curve.

"The traditional method is always good," Social Studies teacher John Lakus said. "I like it, it is what I grew up with but the kids always want something new and this gives them an incentive to learn."

So now textbook, notebooks, worksheets, pens and pencils are all causalities of technology and the hopes of higher learning.               

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