It's no secret technology is revolutionizing our world, and the Gogebic Ontonagon Intermediate School District is no exception. Ontonagon Elementary kindergartners use iPads in their classrooms for one specific reason in particular.
"The kindergartners, above all, the remainder of their lives and their educational time will be utilizing technology," said Superintendent Bruce Mayle. "We wanted them to be successful; we wanted them to be familiar and comfortable with technology as they went through the learning process."
Ontonagon Elementary is one of the few schools in the state that uses iPads funded by an ISD. That funding provided not just iPads, but headsets, charging carts, and laptops as well.
Brian Amos teaches kindergarten and said the iPads have been useful in lessons.
"It helps out with their motor skill," said Amos. "Any kind of tactile learning, like if they make their letters, they have to do it with their finger. They drag things, and they're able to manipulate their environment a little bit."
The students seem to enjoy learning with the iPads.
"I learn stuff about butterfly math, and I have to get extra points to get more squares to make the house," said student Wyatt Domitrovich.
Butterfly Math teaches basic math skills by dragging and dropping butterflies into a cage to complete a math problem. But not every app is so obviously educational. Even some of the more "fun" games are useful, too.
"My favorite game is Fish Hooks," said student Kole Kin. "You got to try to get all the apples because you can pop the bubble, and get the apples."
While a game of bouncing fish off of turtle shells to pop bubbles and collect apples doesn't really seem educational, it's really a puzzle game that relies heavily on motor skills and critical thinking. However, the students aren't the only ones being challenged by the iPads.
"The first time I've ever been involved with an iPad was August, so I had to figure out what to do on it and what would be good for them to do on it," Amos added.
The school plans to eventually have iPads in all classrooms, kindergarten through sixth grade.