Students in Haverhill classrooms are set to receive some of the newest technological gadgets.
In January, third-grade math classes at Tilton Elementary School will integrate iPod Touch devices into the curriculum by way of a $100,000 state grant won by the district last fall.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Mary Malone said the students should receive the iPods early next year as part of a pilot technology program.
These hand-held computers will allow students to tabulate math problems, create graphs and challenge themselves to new problems at the touch of a finger.
Malone said the district won the grant after proving new technology advances could have a tangible benefit for Haverhill students at all levels.
"We know we can strengthen our core instruction at the elementary level," she said. "This is a great start."
At least two classrooms at Tilton, with about 30 students each, should receive the iPods, Malone said. Students will use the iPods in class; they will not be allowed to take them home.
Tilton isn't the only school likely to receive some new toys after this holiday season. Administrators are looking into a new computer lab with updated Apple Mac computers at Greenleaf Elementary School and expanding the use of iPods and iPads to the Classical Academy at Haverhill High School.
Twenty five Haverhill teachers from all grade levels and all subject matters will have an opportunity to take part in the pilot.
Online training and curriculum development using iPods in the classroom will be offered to interested teachers through courses offered by Virtual High School of Maynard. After taking the course, teachers will receive an iPod from the district to use in the classroom.
School Committee member Joseph Bevilacqua has encouraged school officials to integrating electronic reading devices into the classroom to supplement, and eventually replace, paper textbooks.
"The time is coming, if not already here, for e-Readers," he said. "It will be more cost effective and never go out of style."
Lightweight electronic displays such as iPods, as well as their larger, sister product, the iPad, Amazon's Kindle or Barnes and Noble's Nook all fall under the technology umbrella of electronic readers. Using computer files rather than print, these devices would allow schools to buy and update textbooks that now require expensive replacement.
Superintendent James Scully said the district is already considering several options, focusing on integrating more technology into the classroom.
Last fall, Scully and six other school officials visited Babson College in Wellesley for a presentation by Apple Computers that showed ways iPods and iPads could be used in the classroom.