Elementary Students Learn with Donated iPads

By Antoniotti, Kathy | News Sentinel, January 24, 2012 | Go to article overview

Elementary Students Learn with Donated iPads


Antoniotti, Kathy, News Sentinel


GREEN, Ohio - Teaching grade-schoolers to speak Mandarin might not be difficult in Asia, but in America, the challenge is daunting. But the students in J.T. Kuzior's Green, Ohio, Primary School thirdgrade classroom are doing just that, using a computer application that helps them learn the language.

Thanks to a local businessman, the nearly 1,000 students at the school in grades 1-3 are getting foreign language instructions and lessons in other subjects twice each week using the latest technology. "Most students are afraid of a new language," iPad instructor Julie Buckler said while teaching an introductory class in the official, national language of the People's Republic of China. A few minutes later, students began reciting the names of primary colors in the Mandarin dialect.

Randy Theken, founder of the Theken Family of Companies, manufacturers of orthopedic medical devices, donated 60 iPads before the first day of school and used his engineering background to build two, 30-bay docking stations to charge them each night.

"My impetus for funding the school with iPads is two-fold: one, knowing how important it is to introduce technology as early as possible to grade-school children; and two, my passion for engineering, technology, and innovation, as this is a large driver in our local economy for creating jobs," Theken said.

Theken, who has a son in the second grade at the school, next is providing for an additional 30 devices that will allow the students in each of the 38 homerooms more iPad time each week.

Enthusiasm at the school for learning with the popular hand-held computers is palpable, Buckler said. …

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