Midlands middle school goes paperless

Students at Muller Road Middle School use their iPads to complete school work. / Adam Pinsker

COLUMBIA (WACH) - Some parents in Richland School District Two concerned about the use of iPads in the classrooms. WACH-Fox got a few calls and emails from parents worried their kids were using the iPads for more than just educational instruction.

When Mae Pennington's son Tristan came home from school with nothing but an iPad she worried the device was a distraction from her child's education.However the iPads are here to stay, replacing traditional textbooks at Muller Road Middle School.

At 500 dollars a pop they may seem expensive; but Principal Lori Marrero says they are a worthy investment considering the price of textbooks and paper are rising.

"There are so many applications out there that have educational benefits, and we knew we did not want to do textbooks, said Marrero. "We knew that textbooks for the most part are obsolete."Tristan and his classmates can download class assignments and reading materials, even do science projects on the iPad.

"In our classrooms, students are sitting at tables, so that teachers are walking around, in fact when we were in one classroom a teacher said that's not my application, get back to my app," adds Marrero.

Once a skeptic, Pennington is excited about iPad's ability to enhance her child's education.

"You can sit there and tell someone all you want that this is a good program," said Pennington. "But to actually see the children in the classroom, they are learning very, very well."

Principal Marrero says eventually all Richland Two Students in grades 4 through 12 will be using some kind of one-to-one wireless device in the classroom