San Joaquin USA Office of Education Migrant Education Program offers Ipads to young students | Community
Eager, wide-eyed Yesenia Duarte, 6 years old and ready to learn, poked at her first iPad.She touched "Main Street Block Party," and a digital book opened."It's so cute," she said. "I like the iPad, because the iPad is so cool."Yesenia, a first-grader, is part of a pilot program launched Tuesday by the San Joaquin County Office of Education and Huntington Beach-based Teacher Created Materials.Yesenia and her friend Denise Lemus, also 6 and in the first grade, focused on the iPad's features and a new app - Explor-eBook - designed to help them embrace reading."This is a huge step for us," said Veronica Ramos, director of migrant education for the county Office of Education. "These kids are on the cutting edge. Technology is the way of the future.""I like it, because I like to read and look at the pictures," Denise said. "I can read it and listen. I need to practice."She touched the story "Ken Gets Sick," and its colorful, digital version opened up on her 9-by-7-inch screen.The free software Explor-eBook makes books come to life. The app offers content on math, science, language arts and history. It features audio, annotated text, recording capability, instant playback and even a video component."This is just breathtaking," said Aracely Sandoval, coordinator of the migrant-education program at 333 W. Matthews Road. "It's hard to describe. It's all the hard work paying off."Approximately 150 migrant education students will have access to the iPads through the program. About three dozen got their introduction Tuesday. The pioneering after-school students were busy exploring the new technology.