GMG Elementary school students will go back to school this fall with a few new toys to play with.
The school was recently awarded $19,799 from the Monsanto Company and GMG Superintendent Ben Petty said that the money received will go toward 25 new iPad 2's and a power sync cart to house the new devices.
"There were some needs in technology at the elementary that I thought needed to be met," said Petty.
Petty said that the 25 new iPad 2s are being purchased because of the amount of instructional applications that will help the students in the classroom. The devices are great for the elementary-aged students, Petty said, because the kids lack typing skills and this is an easier way for them to use technology to learn.
"There's going to be a mobile iPad lab and there will be a power-sync cart," Petty said. "The cart will have the capability to go to multiple classrooms and all of the iPads are synced together which is very time efficient."
The school's main goal with the new technology is to improve students' test scores and, Petty said, that starts with reading and math.
"We piloted a program called IXL Math last year," Petty said. "The program helped raise students' math scores and we can get the same program on the iPads."
GMG Elementary Principal Mel Hewitt said he is excited for the new iPads and that the IXL Program will be great on the devices.
"It will help students practice those skills," Hewitt said. "The program is aligned with the Iowa core curriculum, and our curriculum and our test scores did rise after the program was implemented last year."
Petty said the school district is happy for the new technology.
"We're very thankful for the grant from Monsanto," Petty said.