Editor's note: The following information comes from Arlington Public Schools.
Arlington Public Schools’ Special Education Department is sporting 56 new Apple iPads, thanks to a state grant awarded by the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education.
Superintendent Kathleen Bodie said the schools were awarded $93,545 as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. The funds were used to purchase iPads and the required peripheral equipment, which will be used by special education students in several schools.
Apple provided schools with no-cost professional development with the equipment to help teachers and support staff make the most of the equipment.
“Teachers who received the iPads are piloting apps to determine which provide the most benefit to their students and are sharing best practices with their peers,” Bodie said in a statement.
Some of the teachers are using the technology to improve communication for students with limited verbal skills and bridging social interactions between special education students and their general education peers.
“As the iPad translation ability is very good, the iPads are also assisting with verbal communication with parents who do not speak English,” BOdie added.
The grant is also being used to to buy additional Boardmarker communication software for special education students and install administrative software for specialists and teachers.
Administrators have also purchased laptops and printers for team chairs at the Special Education Department.