By Leila Dycus staff writer

New technology is coming to a local school and is said to be harnessing the technology they already have. “The kids are more at home in the digital world,” said principal of MCES Ty Snyder. “They’re more at home on an iPad or iPhone.”

For the past two years the PTO at the elementary school has been working to raise money to purchase iPads for the school. Recently, that goal was fulfilled when the PTO at MCES purchased 20 iPads. The iPads will be available for teachers to check out for their students to use. “It’s going to be available to any student in any class within the school,” said Snyder.

MCES is a piloted bring your own technology (BYOT) school. BYOT allows kids to bring their own iPads, iPhones or any other electronic devices to school. Although BYOT is currently only allowed in certain classrooms the goal is to eventually integrate that within every classroom.

According to Snyder, the school became a BYOT pilot in August. Currently, 10 teachers are participating. Parents must sign off and give permission and expectations of the children’s use of devices. Sometimes the BYOT is on and sometimes it’s off depending on what activities the students are doing.

The PTO purchased iPads will allow students who don’t have their own devices to have access to the technology. Teachers are able to use the iPads for centers or other class activities. The iPads are loaded with educational apps.

According to Snyder, the school’s instructional technology specialist, Casey Thomas, will have to try to find new apps for the iPads. They have some but they are always looking for new ones. The kids will not be able to download apps themselves on the iPads but they will come preloaded with things the teachers want them to work on.

The apps will help with specific things like reading and math practice. The students are more engaged with technology. The new technology will aid in working on specific skills. “They wanted to put technology in the hands of students,” said MCES principal, Ty Snyder. The PTO’s role is to supplement the resources that the school has available.

At MCES they have a lot of resources but until now they didn’t have iPads. The iPads are the way that the PTO feels they can supplement the school for not only teachers but students as well. Some of the students have never touched an iPad.

They’ve seen teachers use them but have never actually be able to experience that form of technology. The new iPads will be put in these students’ hands opening and whole new outlet of learning for them. “The PTO wanted to buy something besides computers, something that could get in the students hands,” said Snyder.