Unity High School rolls out new Apple laptops to all students - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Unity High School rolls out new Apple laptops to all students

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MENDON, Ill. (WGEM) -

Until recently, laptops were available for 9th and 10th grade students in just two subjects at Unity High School.

Now, every student has an Apple MacBook Air computer that can be used in every subject.

Officials with the school say the district decided to roll out laptops to every student because it simply benefits students in more ways than a textbook.

Students at Unity High School can no longer use the excuse "my dog ate my homework," because all their homework is now online.

Sara Reichert teaches 12th grade math at Unity and says just because all the work is online, doesn't mean students are getting any less of an education.

"It's not multiple choice," Reichert said. "A lot of people think as soon as you hear 'online' well they're just typing a, b, or c and no, they actually have to enter in their answers, and it gives them immediate feedback."

Reichert says it's that instant feedback, that makes for better learning.

"They'll come in with questions about 'why did I get that wrong? I think I'm right.' So that leads to so much better discussion," Reichart said.

Thomas Donley and Reed Bentzinger are seniors at Unity and say the new Mac Book Air computers have multiple benefits, from lessening the load on their backs to getting them a head start in college.

"I'm actually in a John Wood class that's online. It's math and English, so it's cool to get college credits done as well as being online," Donley said.

"It's just self paced and you got it right there with you, you can get it done, with three credit hours in a month and half," Bentzinger said.

Reichert says she hopes that self-paced learning helps her students in the future.

"It's just fostering them to be better workers and in my job I can't run to my principal's office every time I have a question I've got to do something to be independent and they're learning that now in high school," Reichart said.

The school's principal says the laptops were paid for by re-adjusting their budget and using money not spent on textbooks. He hopes to bring laptops to 7th and 8th graders next year, and eventually get iPad tablets into the elementary schools.

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