“We found out students are going to college and buying their books on an iPad and don’t want them going to post-secondary ed (education) not being able to use those devices,” McMullen Superintendent Dave Underwood said. “I think it’s another tool to advance student learning.”
The McMullen school board approved the purchase of 270 iPads as well as charging stations and Apple TVs and printers for students to use with their iPads during their meeting on June 24.
Students in kindergarten through sixth grade will each have iPads to use in the classroom and students in seventh and eighth grade will be able to use them freely around the campus as well as in the classroom. High school students will be able to take their iPads home for homework and personal use.
The district is going to look into transitioning their textbooks onto the iPads, according to Underwood. He said the biggest benefit of having them in the classroom will be for science classes since it will let students have access to tools and digital content they otherwise wouldn’t have.
Although the tablet computers can be used for educational purposes, they are capable of doing more. Because of this, the board also approved policies for parent training to help parents know how to monitor their child’s online activities.
“Everything is filtered here,” Underwood said. “A lot of kids have phones with data plans, so parents are used to that, but some might not be.”
In other McMullen school news:
• The district will build a four-plex house for teachers with two two-bedroom units and two three-bedroom units. The board also approved the purchase of a half-acre piece of property and house in Tilden that connects to the school’s property.
“We’re pretty short on houses; I feel like we’re always behind on teacher housing,” Underwood said.
He said the property is near the track, next to some property that the district purchased in the 1990s.
• The district is looking into working with Texas A&M University in Kingsville and a craft training school in Corpus Christi on providing opportunities for students to get welding certification while still in high school.