ATHENS, N.Y. -- Using iPads to teach a first grade class a math lesson is the latest implementation of new technology in the Coxsackie-Athens School District in Greene County.
At the Edward J. Arthur Elementary School in Athens, 13 first graders sit at their desks Wednesday morning, iPads in hand, trying to get to the next level of an app called "Pocket Tangrams."
At first glance it's play, but in reality, it's a geometry lesson.
Elisa Futia has been an educator for 18 years and says during that time her lesson plans have evolved quite a bit.
Futia says the iPads are changing the face of what happens in her classroom on a day-to-day basis.
"Right now as they're working on this app today and we're using very little math language, because we've only been in school for four days," she says. "But it's really diagnostic for me as well, because I see where we need to go next with our geometry."
Futia says as the school year progresses, she'll introduce different apps just as she would introduce different worksheets tailored to the lessons she is teaching.
"One of the things I use the iPads for in particular, is the transition from the concrete," says Futia. "When they're used to using counters or blocks, to a more representational piece where they're using pictures of the blocks, it's not the same as doing that on a piece of paper where they don't move. So it kind of bridges that gap from the concrete manipulatives into the more symbolic level when we get into the equations."
Futia says eventually, her first graders will get into the addition and subtraction portion of the curriculum and she feels the iPads help make it exciting
"To do that on paper, you'll get a lot of moans and groans, but to do that on some of the websites that we have access to through the iPads, the students will literally do hundreds of math problems and cheer the whole time."
There are 800 iPads being used, district wide.