Heavy bookbags a thing of the past as Bridgeport Schools expand technology to more students

Belmont County

BRIDGEPORT, Ohio (WTRF) – Bridgeport Schools have had iPads for fifth through 12th graders for years.

Now, thanks federal and general funds, they are able to expand technology to their third and fourth graders as well.

They learned something last spring, when COVID shut down the schools.

We realized that approximately 120 kids were without that iPad that our 5th through 12th graders had. We wanted to bring that access to every child.

Brent Ripley, Superintendent, Bridgeport Schools

So, now they have them.

The school district has 800 iPads in all.

Grades four through 12 take them home. Even grades Kindergarten through second have them, not to take home, but brought into class on a cart.

They can’t wait when they’re using the iPads, especially in the kindergarten through second grade, when that cart comes in and they know that they’re all going to be using them.

Lisa Clark, Technology Coordinator

Heavy book bags are a thing of the past.

So, the book bags are much lighter. That is very true. So, with the iPads, you can access many online resources. Some of our textbooks are online. Some are still hard copy.

Leslie Kosanovic, Curriculum Coordinator

It’s a learning curve for teachers, and 15 have signed up for an online course from Apple to learn even more.

We are learning all about the accessibility tools on the iPad that teachers can share with students, and students can share with each other.

Leslie Kosanovic, Curriculum Coordinator

They realize that technology is more real to kids than pencil-and-paper.

These kids are coming in from a digital world. So, we need to learn how to, as a school district, just accompany the digital world to the kids.

Brent Ripley, Superintendent, Bridgeport Schools

The iPads are leased. If they break, they send them back to Apple and they are replaced.

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