Laptop computer program expands at Oswalt Academy
One Apple, two Apples, three Apples ... brand new Apple laptops for 133 more.
While other elementary students may learn arithmetic by counting apples and simple nursery rhymes, Oswalt Academy in Walnut is counting on Apple computers to teach its students to count, write, read and so much more.
The innovative program began last year, when 240 fifth- and sixth-grade students received spiffy new laptops. The MacBook laptops came pre-loaded with digital textbooks.
Now 133 new fifth-graders got their Apples during "Roll Out Night" on Sept. 3. Parents and kids picked up the thinking machines, which will give the students around-the-clock access to educational software. Think of it as a digital classroom 24/7.
And the Apples of their eye seem to be inspiring the students even as it teaches them about their subjects.
"Since we started the program last October, we have seen an enormous amount of student academic growth that has exceeded our expectations," said Principal Astrid Ramirez.
She said test results jumped 14 percent in English language arts scores for the sixth-graders. Ramirez said math scores also improved 11 percent.
"I think the text-to-voice feature has really helped our students. They type in their essays, then the computer reads the essay back to them. It helps the kids hear incomplete sentences, as well as the pauses reflected by different punctuation," Ramirez said.
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