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      Students using iPads in the classroom

      A 3rd grader at Franklin Elementary uses an iPad. / Photo by: Chad Douglas

      Getting an entire class of elementary school kids to pay attention all day long can be a daunting task.

      A couple of Jacksonville schools are quickly learning there's an app for that.

      A quiet and empty classroom must mean the kids are at recess right? Not exactly. The room is still quiet, but the kids are here, and they're learning in a new way. The Jacksonville School District bought 40 iPads last fall with some title money and now a couple of teachers are using them in the classroom.

      Third grade teacher Mary Parks says, "I think a lot of my kids, especially my classroom our hands on learners."

      And you can't get much more hands on than an iPad.

      Third grader Grace Smith says," Every morning I don't want to get up, but now I do because the iPads are there."

      As you can imagine, the kids love the technology.

      Third grader Tyler Mort says," I like them a lot because you can learn and have fun at the same time."

      Third grader Grace Smith says, "There's a game on there called Pearl Diver. It's really fun to play it because I learn how to do halves and quarters."

      Franklin and Lincoln Elementaries have 40 iPads...20 for each school. Right now, there are two classes at each school who both use five iPads. The schools are in the testing phase right now before the complete potential of an iPad in the classroom can be unlocked. Teachers are focusing on math right now, and eventually will add reading and literacy to the program. While the kids enjoy "playing" with the iPads, the teachers and staff are really seeing the benefits, and can't wait to see how else they can use them in the classroom.

      Technology Coach, Dan Sheehan says, "I wish I had access to an iPad when I was in school. There's so many possibilities and so many things you can do."

      Tyler Mort says," I think she's jealous because she don't get to use them as much as we do."

      Mary Parks adds, "kind of a little jealous that they get so much technology right now. The kids absolutely love it."

      The schools were chosen for the iPads because they meet "title" requirements which is basically income based.

      The students only get to use the iPads for a set number of minutes in the morning, and then they are put away.