Van Alstyne High School gets iPads

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

VAN ALSTYNE, TEXAS -- Today in Van Alstyne, the halls were void of students and the teachers were the ones getting schooled. Fifty Van Alstyne High School teachers are sacrificing some of their summer break to unlock new tools for the classroom.

"I feel blessed to have a group of teachers that are willing to give up part of their summer and explore how they can do a better job in the classroom," Van Alstyne Superintendent John Spies said.

Superintendent John Spies used grant money to strike a deal with the high school teachers; attend today's technology training and get an iPad for the classroom.

"There were so many perks to joining the training. I just couldn't refuse," Van Alstyne High School teacher Leigh Evans said.

Spies is one of 30 North Texas superintendents working to transform teaching to meet the needs of the 21st century.

"With all the technology being used in the schools today, it still appears that we're really teaching like we taught in the Industrial Revolution," Spies said.

The teachers say they're on board with integrating new technology into the curriculum.

"iTunes, iPhone, everything. You might as well harness that and use that. And then the kids are more interested, and when they're more interested, they're more likely to learn," Van Alstyne High School teacher Darrell Hardcastle said.

"It's the information age, so kids need to know how to search information and find results," Evans said.

Spies says just because students will have great technology at their fingertips doesn't make the teachers unnecessary.

"Teacher is still the critical piece to make sure engagement's taking place and that students are learning at a high level. I think that's happening here in the training that we're doing this summer with our teachers is even bringing that to a higher level," Spies said.

Allison Harris, First News.

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