Cristo Rey students, teachers start school year with new iPads - KCTV5

Cristo Rey students, teachers start school year with new iPads

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Reading, writing, arithmetic and iPads are on tap for Cristo Rey students as they start the new school year.

Every student as well as every teacher now has an iPad.

"It's more exciting," senior Yessica Lara said.

She said she enjoys booting her iPad, opening a website and learning. She said flipping pages through a textbook is "kind of boring."

Eliseo Medina's sentiments were shared by a number of students.

"I feel very special. Very privileged to have an iPad. Most schools have laptops. We get this," the junior said.

Teachers received their iPads last April. This gave them several months to learn how to best use them in the classroom.

"Every tool you have to aid a student's education gets them that much closer to understanding the content and having deep knowledge," physics teacher Craig Chaney said.

He has already found interesting apps to help rev up his lessons and make them more interactive. He said this will help students understand concepts better especially complex one.

The technology cost about $4 million. The school raised the money from donations and foundation grants.

Students must pay $50 for insurance on the iPads to cover repair costs. If the product is returned undamaged at the end of the year, the money is returned.

Cristo Rey Principal Mary Kallman said it's money well spent.

"We need our students to be well educated. We need them to go to college and have successful wonderful lives," Kallman said.

She said students from urban neighborhoods especially need additional resources "to compete for the prize for the American dream and whatever that is."

Staffers believe the technology helps bring lessons to live and give them more vitality. In addition, the hope is the communication, collaboration and creativity process between students and teachers will be enhanced.

In addition to providing the iPads, the school's 21st Century Learning Initiative opened six new classrooms for science, technology, engineering and math instruction. The effort also focused on improving professional development for staff and integrating technology into the school's curriculum.

Cristo Rey is a Catholic school and is located at 211 W. Linwood Ave.

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