iPads for students: Naches trades textbooks for technology

iPads for students: Naches trades textbooks for technology
Naches, Wash. -- Old Math books in the corner are no longer used in Jeremy Beckman's Naches Valley High School classroom.

He now uses an iPad to teach and his students follow along on theirs; they have a Math App instead of a book.

"I zone out a lot when teachers are talking, sometimes when I read," said Naches High School freshman Chase Wells. "And this, he tells you what to do and you're interacting with it. You're moving. You're not just sitting there staring."

Using an iPad has its perks.

Teachers like Beckman can now track their student's progress closer and see and monitor what students work on after the bell.

"I can even see below in dark blue how much time they've spent out of class," Beckman said.

Beckman says that is invaluable.

"What this allows us as teachers to do is more small groups and individual help. Where kids need help, instead of giving generalized instruction," said Beckman. "So, it allows to more target to the individual kid's needs."

This year Naches transitioned to a six-period day, which would've required the school to double its textbook supplies, easily costing over $100,000.

Instead, it transitioned to iPads and made all textbooks available electronically for students.

Those 500 iPads cost the district $75,000 dollars a year to lease.

Everywhere we walked, students were glued to screens and enchanted by endless entertainment.

Naches said new books will still be used in classrooms for now, along with tools for every subject at the fingertips of students; it will continue moving towards a more digital learning experience.

A $50 insurance option for students to protect against being stolen or broken. Without it, students would have to pay for a replacement.

Naches is not alone; LaSalle and Sunnyside High Schools offer iPads to students.

The Selah School District said it's watching to see how things work in Naches before making a commitment.