“The apps are set up like games,” Maurer said. “The kids just think it’s fun.”
Maurer said she hopes the iPads encourage kids to read more, too.
The tablets will have some books loaded onto them already. She said she wants to get parents to check out more books through the digital libraries at the school and at the local library.
“We want to push their literacy skills, so they’re reading to learn by third and fourth grade,” Maurer said.
Caddell said the iPads also will teach students how to communicate using 21st century technology — a big focus for Eastern.
In recent years, the corporation has purchased about 300 iPads and just as many netbooks for use in its schools, Caddell said.
Classrooms use smartboards. Students learn how to blog and can even use cellphones for certain assignments, the superintendent said.
“If we really want kids to engage in the 21st century, we have to give them the tools to do it,” he said. “We want to get as many of these devices in kids’ hands as possible.”
• Lindsey Ziliak, Tribune education reporter, may be reached at 765-454-8585 or firstname.lastname@example.org