Belen Jesuit Preparatory School gets iPads
SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida school is replacing traditional textbooks with iPads.
Belen Jesuit Preparatory School is ditching notebooks and pens and going digital. "I'm pretty excited. I think it's going to be really cool to be the first school in Miami, I think even in South Florida, to have a completely digitalized program like this," said senior student Steven Tyler. "I think we're gonna now be leaders in the South Florida community."
All 1,500 students and 120 teachers met with members of the Apple team to get them ready for the first day of school on Tuesday. School administrators believe it will open new doors for their students. "All of the things that they love, all the things that the world loves today, media, they're going to use it in a way that's going to help them learn and help them like learning, love learning, and want to be the life-long learners that we try to foster," said Belen Jesuit Director of Technology Carol Vila.
The curriculum will incorporate apps like Dropbox, iTunes U and Nearpod Student, which allows students to participate actively in class. They will now take notes, read their books and follow along with presentations all on their own tablet. "See how mobile technology can achieve these same goals but in a better way," said Vila, "and in a way that will engage our young men much better than just the old style because that's our job: to teach them and engage them."
Students are excited to start using the iPads. They even say the technology will help land them future jobs. "I'm gonna now be able to say that I'm skilled with an iPad and all its apps that it comes with," said Tyler. "So, when I'm applying for a job, it's definitely something I can put on my resume and something that a lot of companies are looking for when they're going through the hiring process-- seeing if people are digitally or technologically capable."
Not only does it give students a more technological learning environment, it also relieves students from carrying heavy books. "Many of our sixth graders carrying around-- and I'm not kidding about this-- 60 pounds or more of textbooks-- two rolling backpacks," said Vila. "So, this will alleviate that load and take some pressure off some young backs."
Parents are on board with the new program, too. "I think it's wonderful. The school is adapting to new technology and implementing the new technology into education," said Eduardo Scheuren.
This process started more than two years ago after comparing more than 10 tablets and polling parents for their interest.
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