Local 5th Grader Serena Levingston On Her SmartSchool


“I had no idea iPads could be so exciting until my school gave iPads to all of the fifth graders as part of a program through the Kohelet Foundation called SmartSchool. At first, I was a little nervous about handling the new technology, because we had to be so careful about everything we did. I knew that it would change the way we learned, but I had no idea how. I didn’t have experience with iPads before, but I had experience using Apple laptops.

The touchscreen was hard to get used to because I was more comfortable with a keyboard. I’ve gotten used to the touchscreen, but I’m still learning how to get around from word to word with my fingers instead of with a cursor. It is easy to flip from app to app and it is easy to create and then send videos to my friends.

I created my own book review blog called “My Own Reading Rainbow” that can be found here: http://take-a-look-its-in-a-book.blogspot.com/. I am trying to get a few more followers. (Hint, hint: please sign up to follow me!)

Back to school though… All of our classes are different now; any of us can use the Apple TV to show our work on the SMART Boards in our classrooms. We have done many cool things on the iPads, like making Educreation presentations about genetics in science class, making Keynote presentations about geometry and conducting research using websites that our teachers have given us. We also play some math games like Prime Smash and Chicken Coop Fractions!

When my grade was invited to present some of our best iPad work at the SmartSchool Showcase in June, I knew just what I would share. We had written historical fiction stories that we made into iBooks. My story was about a girl who lived during Revolutionary War times and about how she discovers a spy lurking in her village. I enjoyed writing the book and illustrating it with images from the Internet. I felt just like a real author! I hope that I can participate in the showcase again next year. My favorite part of the whole showcase was seeing all of the kids from my grade who came to make their own presentations.

Even though we won’t have our iPads during the summer, my dad recently bought an iPad of his own, so I plan to do some things with Educreations, add to my book review blog and make some more funny videos of my dog Olllie.

The incoming class of fifth graders will be really lucky because the teachers already will have had some experience teaching with the iPads, so the students will have an easier time figuring out which apps to use and how to use them.

When I start sixth grade, I will be at another iPad school (Saligman Middle School of the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy), and I look forward to learning how to use Dropbox to send things to my teachers and to share files that are too big to send by email. I also look forward to continuing to learn different ways the iPad can enhance my education.”


Written by Serena Levingston
5th Grader at the Perelman Jewish Day School

Read a similar post written by
9th grader Ariel Gabay here.