LA CENTER — A hushed air hung over Rhea Heaton’s first-period Spanish class at La Center High School, as students took an end-of-the-week quiz Friday. Light murmurs of students asking questions mingled with the gentle tapping of fingertips on illuminated screens.
In front of each student was an iPad — a tablet-style computer with a touch screen. Questions were displayed in Spanish and answered with the swipe of a finger. The days of Scantron sheets and No. 2 pencils are being phased out of the La Center School District, as it forges ahead with bolstering its technological resources.
Students in Heaton’s Spanish class, and elsewhere at the high school, are part of a push toward creating a more wireless, paperless and collaborative classroom. Since the beginning of the school year, students and staff members have been using more than 100 iPads.
Students say the changes are a move in the right direction.
“I thought it was a lot easier than the paper format test,” said sophomore Alex Firl, a student in Heaton’s class. “For some reason, there’s just something about technology that makes it a lot easier.”
The tablets can be used as an all-in-one study aide, Firl said. He typically conducts research on them, watches videos or accesses lesson plans.