Books are going paperless at Notre Dame College Prep
Vasilios Christides, a junior at Notre Dame College Prep in Niles, gets instruction using an iPad from Principal Dan Tully. iPads are replacing many books at the school. | Contributed photo
Updated: February 25, 2013 2:21AM
NILES — In this world of booming technology, students will soon be reading the Bible and classic novels for their English classes on a computer screen.
Notre Dame College Prep in Niles will launch an iPad program next fall. Freshman, sophomore and junior classes will be required to have an iPad that must be purchased by their families.
Principal Dan Tully said that research shows that there are benefits of students using iPads in class.
“We looked at a number of different reasons and they all pointed to learning across the board, differentiated lessons and giving students more control of their learning,” said Tully.
Tully added that families can purchase the iPads through the school at a discounted rate.
Currently, some students bring in their own iPads or laptops, but they are not yet required as part of the curriculum.
Though it is an added cost for families, Tully said iPads will replace the cost of textbooks which could be in the ballpark of $400 or $500 per year.
“Over the course of a couple of years that will save some money,” Tully said of using the computerized devices.
Tully said feedback that the school has received from families has been positive.
“I’m a big fan of technology,” said Mike Galeno, an English teacher at the high school.
Galeno said he is excited to be able to teach his students using a platform they will also use at the college level.
“Our goal is to eliminate the (print) textbooks and the novels,” said Galeno.
Students will also be able to type journal responses or short essays and then share the files with him on the iPads.
And instead of having piles of printed paper in the classroom, teachers will make use of file-sharing applications, Galeno noted.
Galeno is part of a team of about 10 teachers who are helping other educators less familiar with the devices become accustomed to using them.
Tully said Notre Dame has also had outside professionals come into the high school to help the teachers become comfortable using the iPads in their classrooms.
“It allows teachers to share information more easily and readily,” noted Tully.
He added: “Everyone’s been really enthusiastic. We’re all kind of talking a common language and learning together.”
The following year, the goal is to have all students at Notre Dame College Prep using the iPads in classes.