Arizona school adopts tablets, goes paperless

October 9th, 2012 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Workflow

Continental School in Green Valley, Arizona, is embracing next-generation practices by ditching three-ring binders, pencils and campus computer labs and adopting advanced tablets in the classroom. The new policy is convenient for both students and faculty members, as the gadgets are easy to use and able to adapt to keep pace with other technological innovations, according to a report by the Green Valley News.

Students in kindergarten through third grade are now using iPads specially designed to capture large volumes of content in the classroom, each with military-grade protective cases to eliminate problems associated with longstanding wear and tear, the news source said. By leveraging a unique application, teachers can send assignments, quizzes and other electronic documents to students who can then resubmit them through the cloud. Administrators also have the option to store and print copies if necessary.

There are several reasons why Continental School embraced the digital lifestyle and adopted tablets, including the need to adapt to statewide policies to administer tests electronically. Even more important, however, was the need to teach students electronic life skills at an early age, Green Valley News reported.

"We didn't want to wait [to adapt tablets]," said Continental Superintendent Virginia Juettner, according to the news provider. "But what we really want is for students to be competitive, not just in Arizona but globally."

The benefits of going paperless
In addition to giving students a potential advantage in life by incorporating technology early on, the adoption of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, in the classroom makes it possible for students to do work wherever and whenever they please, Green Valley News reported.

"[Students are] no longer restricted to a desk but can [use smartphones and tablets] in the car, at the ballpark," Juettner said, according to Green Valley News. "They're commonplace in medical and other environments. When kids move on, computers will be second nature."

A separate Mobiledia report echoed the growing trend of adopting tablets in education, as doing so helps schools cut costs associated with using old and often out-of-date textbooks. Studies have even suggested that using tablets may improve learning by providing students with interactive activities that help individuals retain information better.

As the rest of the world continues to embrace digital lifestyles, the education industry will be no different, as going paperless provides a number of unique opportunities.

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