San Joaquin Memorial rolls out iPads for students

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- You can add San Joaquin Memorial to the list of Valley schools upgrading their technology offerings. Memorial began the year by handing out iPads to freshmen.

Students in Mr. Duncan's honors biology class now follow along with their brand-new iPads. The iPads are used alongside their binders and heavy textbooks.

Memorial freshman Nick Yasunaga said, "It's very fun because we have extra space in our backpack now. It's easier to have all your books on your iPad so you just one thing to go to. It's very lucky because I feel blessed."

Principal Stephanie Nitchals said a fundraising campaign helped upgrade technology and implement the 1-to-1 iPad program. Nitchals said, "We really want to prepare kids for the 21st century and the work force and what's expected so we wanted to get technology in their hands."

This year only freshmen are using the iPads. The rest of the school has to wait until next year. Memorial sophomore Katie Rhoades said, "I think they're kind of bummed out but I think they're excited for next year."

Students do have to pay a $365 technology fee.

Teachers took part in an iPad boot camp in June to get ready for the rollout. Nitchals said, "Now they're working in professional learning communities in their subject area to find the best applications to be using them so were not just using technology for technology sake but really using it to inform instruction."

Students will always need to jot down notes but they'll also be glued to the screen as they further their education.

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