MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

February 19, 2013

Tablets hit with Wagoner pupils

Teague Elementary students equipped with nabi computers

By Cathy Spaulding
Phoenix Staff Writer

— WAGONER — Students at W.R Teague Elementary are spellbound by tablet computers that help them with their spelling, math and other subjects.

“Instead of going outside to play, the kids want to play on their nabis,” said Wagoner School Superintendent Monte Thompson, referring to a colorful, kid-sized tablet computer called a nabi.

Each of Teague’s 361 students has a nabi, funded by a Title 1 Academic Achievement Award. The school, which serves second and third grades, won the $49,120 award in January 2012 for showing continuous growth in math and reading  scores.

Teague Elementary Principal Penny Risley said the school decided to spend the award money on the nabi computers. They arrived just before Christmas.

Risley said officials have not yet been able to gauge how the tablets have affected student performance.

“But the students enjoy them. They love them,” she said, adding that sites and programs that follow the Common Core Curriculum were loaded onto the devices.

Students now use a “mixture” of the tablets and the traditional textbook and paper type of learning, Risley said. Students also are continuing to learn cursive writing, she said.

However, she said, “We are trying to move away from using paper and pencils.”

Another factor motivating the move toward tablet computers is the state’s move toward putting all its achievement tests online, Thompson said.

The district is looking at getting a tablet computer or similar device for each student at other schools, he said. However, no deadline has been set.

“We’re looking to go as far as we can with this,” he said. “As we get to looking to the older kids, we’ll be looking at tablets or iPads. We want them to be age-appropriate. We’ll see what our finances allow.”

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.