A new teaching tool at Salem Junior High School - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

A new teaching tool at Salem Junior High School

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SALEM, Ohio - A new pilot program at Salem Junior High School appears to be making the grade with students.

Three teachers took the initiative to create their own science iBooks last summer, with strong support from the administration and board of education.

Alex Mason, a 7th grade student in the district says, "It makes everything, even class, a lot more fun."

Kasey Goodchild, another 7th grade science student tells 21 News, "It's really interesting because the teachers put together books that you can interact with, and there's lots of YouTube videos and things like that."

The pilot program for 7th and 8th grade science students is moving away from the traditional pencil and paper, and making way for iBooks on iPads.

When science teachers at Salem Junior High School couldn't find new text books that included all the new state standards, Nicole Rothbauer, an intervention specialist with the district, initiated the idea. Rothbauer worked with two other colleagues to develop the content and complete the iBooks.

Rothbauer says, "There are videos. There are pictures. Something called a photo gallery where the kids can swipe through the pictures. And you can have text with the pictures and you can also have interactive quizzes."

Amie Cochran, a 7th grade science teacher who worked on the project says, using the iBooks as a teaching tool was at first a bit of a learning curve for her, but it's making the grade with students.

"The one neat thing for me as well is when they would get free time they're asking sometimes to go back to the iBook, and they're actually looking back through the text. They never used to do that," Cochran said.

Ruth Baker, a teacher with the Salem School District for 28 years says, "They're really into it, and I've been teaching a long time. For me to say that, that's something."

It's a way of incorporating old school with new school, and while the classroom isn't totally paperless yet, eventually the students will be able to take tests on their iPad.

A lesson not only in science, but technology, that's helping these students evolve and grow into the future.

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