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Apple's iPad is heart of Idaho elementary 'iSchool' pilot program

A company that specializes in implementing Apple products in the classroom has deployed the iPad to elementary school students in an Idaho pilot program.

Paul Elementary School in Minidoka County, Idaho, is where iSchool Campus recently implemented Apple's iPad in its education pilot test. In the program's first two and a half months, students and teachers have been provided with Apple's latest full-size iPad for use in the classroom.

In a promotional video posted online, faculty at Paul Elementary praise the iSchool Campus program as an effective way to engage students. Principal Colleen Johnson said the iPad has dramatically changed how her school operates, and she anticipates Apple's tablet will be able to completely replace textbooks in the future.

"This is our resource, and it's limitless," she said.

Fifth-grade teacher Ashlee Johnson said the adoption of the iPad has given students the ability to take ownership of their learning, which fosters genuine excitement in the classroom.

"They're excited to learn, they're excited to show you what they know," she said. "They're allowed to use their higher computing skills. It allows the kids to be more creative."

In addition to boosting education, the iPad has also been a cost saver for Paul Elementary. The principal revealed that her school has reduced paper copies by 20,000 a month in doing digital, resulting in what she called a "significant financial savings."

"We don't need consumables anymore," Principal Johnson said. "We're able to use the iPad to take notes, to practice skills. It replaces almost every worksheet that we used to give students, and is much more engaging."

The iSchool Campus program also integrates Apple's Mac computers into the classroom. In the video, students can be shown completing assignments on iMac desktops.

Principal Johnson said she believes the iPad's effect on students is also reaffirming for teachers, who can see the results firsthand.

"When [students] own their learning, the ability to increase scores and understanding rises dramatically," she said. "With this deployment, with technology, students are excited about learning. They're not sitting in a classroom where one student is raising their hand and answering one at a time. They are actively participating in every single part of the lesson."