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Somers Schools Becoming More Technologically Advanced

The schools now have several iPads and interactive white boards that are adding to the education of the students.

As most probably know, technology is the way of the future. And for the Somers school district, this is no exception.

Half of Somers Elementary School, one grade at Mabelle B. Avery Middle school, and one of the foreign language classes at Somers High School now have iPads to work on. Each school also have some portable units that are being used through the media centers.

The students with iPads are in grades one, three, five, and seven, as well as the students who have foreign language teacher Carlos Mezger.

Superintendent of Schools Maynard Suffredini said that the students at the elementary and middle school are using the devices across the board, and not just in the regular classrooms, but also in the special needs classrooms.

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He says that things have been going very well.

“The iPads have been terrific,” Suffredini said. “There’s been a great amount of enthusiasm by the kids in terms of what they’re doing and how they’re using them in the class. The teachers are doing a wonderful job incorporating that as a teaching tool in their classrooms and it’s worked out even better than we had expected. The biggest plus is that our students have really embraced them and it’s just been a tremendous advantage in classrooms with our students and the way they’re using them.”

Suffredini said that the teachers have also taken well to the devices and are exploring, researching, finding new applications, and sharing ideas with each other.

“The way the teachers have embraced it and they’re using them with the kids, it’s terrific,” he said.

The program was piloted this year, with approximately 300 iPads being given out. When school started, the district met with parents to discuss the program and to give them informational materials.

The plan is to have all students have iPads next year. However, if there is limited funding, the district will run another program like it did this year and phase the technology in over a three year period.

Many of the classrooms also have interactive white boards and Suffredini said that projectors have been purchased for the classrooms that use this technology. The district has been doing this for approximately three years now.

“Each year we’ve tried to complete more classrooms and we’re going to be doing that this year as well,” he said. “Those that already have it are using it extensively.”

Suffredini is pleased with the decision to add more technology into the schools.

“That’s what 21st century education is all about,” he said. “We’re moving into the leading edge of it and I think over a period of time, once we get the whole program in place, people will really see the direct benefits of all of it.”

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