Math class welcomes smart phones and iPads

What the program looks like

In Lisa Litchfield's 8th grade math class, you won't hear the sounds of pencils on paper.

"We're doing a project on rational and irrational numbers," Gracie Bunge, an 8th grader at Central Junior High School said.

It's a typical lesson on a very different platform. Walking into class, you'll notice almost every student in class on their smart phone or iPad. You don't see that everyday. In fact, in most classrooms, it's against the rules.

"If you want students to do well in school, they have to be engaged. They can't be bored to death or they're not going to learn anything. So, the engagement is definitely better when they have the technology in front of them," Litchfield said.

Litchfield is known for bringing technology into the classroom.

"We have a mobile cart of 30 iPads that anybody can check out," Litchfield said.

Students still use notebooks and calculators, but many will agree there's an advantage to new technology.

Of course, Litchfield is right there to give help to students who may not be as tech savvy as their peers. Within the last two years, she's incorporated the social media site called Edmodo.

"It's like Facebook, so basically the same except for learning purposes," Kiersten Mayes, an 8th grader at Central Junior High School said.

A communication tool between students and teachers for after school hours.

If you missed something in class, no worries. Litchfield has you covered.

"I post all of our notes that we take from class every night before we go home. We can take quizzes on there and it will even score it for me if I make it certain fill in the blank or multiple choice," Litchfield said.

Litchfield can also answer questions students may have about a quiz or homework. And unlike other social media sites, Litchfield can monitor student activity and take their online privileges away if necessary. But for some, there's no substitute for the traditional one-on-one communication in the classroom.

Litchfield says five other teachers in the Central School District are using Edmodo in their curriculum, but as soon as students leave those classrooms, the iPads and smart phones are put to rest.