8th graders receive iPads instead of textbooks in Commerce City

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Students in Commerce City get iPads instead of textbooks. Aug. 9, 2012

Students in Commerce City get iPads instead of textbooks. Aug. 9, 2012

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A Commerce City school is giving all their 8th graders a brand new tool to use in class and at home -- Apple I-Pads.

"It's pretty amazing, just to hold one," said Joel Mendoza, who picked up his tablet at the Landmark Academy Thursday afternoon.

Thanks to a major fundraising effort by the school, about 75 students will receive an I-Pad to use in class and at home.

"I am super excited," said Kathy Evanson, a language arts teacher. "I think it's going to energize the teaching, the learning... and I know the kids are over the moon with their excitement."

Story by: Boris Sanchez

The Landmark Academy students are now part of a growing trend, as hundreds of schools across the country introduce the I-Pad into the classroom.

An Apple spokesperson told us the company recently sold about a million of its tablets to schools between March and June of this year -- meaning approximately 3 million kids around the country are using it in their classrooms.

"You don't have to carry tons of books," said Paul Andrus, the parent of a Landmark 8th grader. "You have a lot of research, a lot of paperwork, and a lot of text you can put in there... It makes things a lot easier."

Matt Carlton, the principal at Landmark Academy, says it's a fantastic tool that "can really make the things that we're trying to teach them come alive -- they are fascinated by it."

"That's half the battle for me as a principal," said Carlton. "Getting them fascinated by what they're supposed to learn."

Principal Carlton also wanted to reassure parents who were concerned students may get distracted by having an I-Pad in class, by explaining that the school had set restrictions on each tablet, to make sure the students were using them appropriately.

"Our kids are in this digital world and whether we're there or not -- They are there," said Carlton. "Our hope is to go there with our kids, we want to be there and help them understand the dangers and the great things."

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