BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Brittney Barnes' 6th grade class at Westminster Community Charter School is learning about child labor from her using their brand new iPads. She says it changes the whole dynamic of the classroom.
The iPads are provided to Westminster Charter School through the "Buffalo Promise" initiative with M&T Bank as a partner. At a cost of more than a quarter million dollars, the school received 360 iPads.
For teachers, the tablets are offering a new tool to shape these young minds, in ways that might have been otherwise impossible.
"It helps them with organization. There's no, 'I forgot my notebook in my previous class' or 'in my locker.' Everything is there. The apps are just amazing," Barnes said.
For the students like Kaila Shabazz, the iPad gives her a learning device with boundless possibilities and a feeling of independence.
"The iPad has everything that you could learn on it if you just type it in. So it is kind of like, just learning," Shabazz said.
Westminster's principal Ayinde Rudolph says the iPad is integral to fulfilling one of "Buffalo Promise Neighborhood's" objectives of internet access for every school household. While the iPads are not going home yet, they eventually will, because success in the classroom depends on success at home.
"The iPad is sort of a 'game changer' that challenges us to re-think the way we teach and facilitate learning," Rudolph said. "For our parents, that we are providing them with training, making sure our kids understand how to use it. If we do that, I don't think we have to worry about what comes afterwards, if we start letting iPads go home."
So far, only students in grades 3-8 have received iPads. The remaining kindergarten through second graders are next.
The iPad program doesn't end there. Two other nearby "promise schools" are also supposed to get the iPads.
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