Some parents might be surprised to see an iPad on their child’s back-to-school list right alongside pencils and looseleaf notebook paper. Schools around the country have considered using electronic textbooks, and some will begin to experiment with them in the classroom this fall.
Starting next month, Hasbrouck Heights school district in New Jersey will teach 8th grade algebra students using HMH Fuse, an electronic textbook developed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The district will be one of the first in New Jersey to use the program.
An article on northjersey.com states that “educators see the application, which intertwines today’s technology with algebraic concepts, as a tool to help kids visualize and internalize calculations and mathematical theory the way they pick up and retain other complicated capabilities using the device’s touch screen.”
The district is leasing the iPads from Apple Inc. at a low cost so that the students in the honors algebra class will not be required to purchase the $500 device.
Students who participated in a demonstration of HMH Fuse felt that the program made it easier and more enjoyable to solve algebraic equations. Educators are anticipating that handheld devices like iPads will become important classroom fixtures as well as at-home study tools.
Let’s hope that the kids actually stay on track with their algebra homework instead of spending class time playing a marathon session of Angry Birds!
Watch a demo of HMH Fuse here:
Photo credit: yto