HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — LaMarc Hilliard, a fifth-grader at Emma K. Doub Elementary School who wrote a story on his iPad about a turkey helping a chicken find treasure that was stolen by a group called the "bling bling crew," was able to project what he wrote from his iPad to a screen in the front of his class as part of the school's digital writing showcase event.
Students demonstrated to family and friends at the school last month the digital portfolios they have built since the beginning of the school year after receiving an iPad or an iPod touch.
"It's an easier way to write and create digital stories," Hilliard, 10, said of using iPads in class. "It's more fun."
Narratives, poems, research, and essays were all showcased by students from their devices.
"You have the power right to your fingertips," Emma K Doub fifth-grader Andrew Pugh, 11, said of writing on his iPad.
Pugh's grandfather, Ernest Pugh, 68, of Hagerstown, saw some of the students' work at the school and said that he thinks the students are learning material "at a better depth" using the technology "rather than having someone try to explain it to them verbally."
The digital portfolios have been part of a year-long focus on improving literacy in the school using technology, Principal Catherine Poling said. Different methods of using the technology were developed through a group of 13 teachers in the school and a partnership with the University of Maryland Writing Project, which is part of the National Writing Project, a group of teachers, professors and administrators involved in the development of writing and literacy.
Poling said that since the project has been implemented, students have shown improvements in writing and appear to be more engaged in class.
"We're seeing students as they're leaving us for middle school, and our young ones really focusing on where they need to go with reading skills," she said.
Information from: The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown, Md., http://www.herald-mail.com