North Kansas City School District buys 15,000 iPads for students

Posted at 5:45 PM, Aug 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-31 21:43:53-04

This week the North Kansas City School District announced that every student from kindergarten through eighth grade will have iPads this school year.

"It breaks down the classroom walls, we can do so much more stuff,” said Mindy Wheeler, a teacher at North Gate Middle School.

If you walk in her classroom, you can easily tell it isn’t a traditional classroom.

“They can communicate beyond a normal basis, beyond what a normal paper and pencil can do,” said Wheeler.

You don't see many books. All of the students in her class are working from iPad’s. By the end of the year it’s something every student in North KC Schools will have.

Eric Sipes is the Director of Information Technology for the district. He said the district received 15,000 iPad’s without increasing their budget. Sipes said they renegotiated their contract with Apple.

“We of course have an internet filter that will be on the device that will filter at home so that we aren't just giving them something that is open to the internet,” said Sipes.

He said students do homework on specific apps that don't use Wi-Fi and limit their access to the internet.

Parents don't have to pay a deposit or for insurance in case the iPad breaks.

The tablets come in a case and the district also has three technicians that can make repairs to them.

North Kansas City isn't the only district that incorporates technology in the classroom.

“They all have iPads, they take them home. It teaches responsibility, they have to charge them, they do testing on them,” said Tessie Wyssel.

She is the mother to a fourth grade student in the Shawnee Mission School District.

“I think its a great thing. It is in everyday life, so its ongoing. Its a good thing to learn with early use,” sadi Wyssel.

Wheeler said this also keeps students engaged.

“Anytime you use technology, it is going to help engagement. It really pushes us out of our comfort zone, so they are pushed, we are pushed, everyone is learning together,” said Wheeler.