iPad's help boost Speegleville Elementary state test scores - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

iPad's help boost Speegleville Elementary state test scores

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SPEEGLEVILLE -

A Central Texas school has shown positive state testing results and the district says it was the help of an extra resource in the classroom: the iPad.

This was part of a pilot program Speegleville Elementary School used for the 2012-2013 school year. After using the device for one year, they saw a jump in state test scores. District leaders did careful research and visited other state school districts on using an iPad before Midway ISD gave it a try. 

"I was really excited to get that technology in our hands," 4th grade teacher Christine Reed said. 

Reed and her classroom use the tablets everyday.

"I just think it really benefited our room and I think the children are more engaged," Reed said. "Their test scores have increased and there's engagement 100 percent throughout the day."

The school was the first in the district to try the tablets. It turned out to be a positive experience and district administrators noticed. 

"We were very excited at the gains they made in all five of their tested areas," said Dr. Brent Merritt, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum. 

Test scores showed that Speegleville Elementary tested higher than the year before.

4th grade math results jumped 13 percent from 79 percent in 2012 to 92 percent in 2013. 3rd grade reading results went from 86 percent in 2012 to 95 percent in 2013.

However, this improvement isn't just because of technology. 

"Our teachers worked very hard and they've received a lot of professional development," said Meritt. "We feel very excited about those test scores, but when you take a tour through Speegleville and you see the kids utilize the technology and working with their teachers, the level of engagement was so high that it really wasn't surprising their scores were that good."

Reed and her students use the tablets a minimum of 25 percent of their day, and she considers them a valuable tool.

"We use them for math facts, books, they practice their reading fluency, they use them to create projects," Reed said.

Thanks to a multi-million dollar bond that was passed last year, each student at Midway ISD will have an iPad by the end of the 2014 school year.

"I think it's our duty as a school district to prepare our kids to be successful in the 21st century workforce," Meritt said. "Technology is a big portion of our global society."

To compare elementary campuses in Midway ISD, click here

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