Amarillo ISD purchases iPods for students

AMARILLO, Texas----Amarillo ISD just invested more than $6,000 in technology to help make class room learning more advanced.

In 2000, schools across the nation spent hundreds of thousands of dollars purchasing computers and printers but now, they are even being replaced by smaller technology.

This school year, AISD purchased 32 iPod touch devices for students to use across the district.

It was not your typical classroom setting inside Mrs. Lloyd's room today.

"We get to use the iPods as review or to cover certain topics," she said.

She's a fifth grade math teacher at Tradewind Elementary, one of many schools getting the chance to test out the new iPods.

"It really gets our kids motivated and interested in learning," she said.

Dirk Funk is Amarillo ISD's instructional designer responsible for technology purchases.

"We purchases the iPods so we could experiment and see what impact they would have on instruction," he said.

As you can imagine, most students like the hands-on technology.

"Today we learned about median, mode and range," Angela Vences said.

Fifth grade student Joel Fernandez also likes the new hybrid way of teaching.

"I like using the iPods because it's more fun instead of just looking at the board," he said.

Mrs. Lloyd is already getting plenty of feedback too.

"They love them," she said. "They tell me it's more fun than listening to me."

All students do is scan a barcode using an application pre-installed on the device.

The barcode then pulls up the day's lesson plan.

Of course, students will still need a pencil and paper to work out the problems but in the end, Mrs. Lloyd agrees it's helping her students.

"Math is sometimes a struggle for kids so if you can put something that's fun or entertaining and combine that with learning, it's so much more rewarding and their success is so much higher."

AISD purchased the iPods using federal stimulus money earmarked for instructional development.

No word yet on whether the district plans to buy more iPods for the upcoming school year.