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How technology helped transform Wilder Elementary School in Idaho.
Ten years ago, Wilder Elementary was one of the lowest-performing schools in the state and more than half the students didn’t have internet at home. Now, Wilder is named one of the 25 most innovative districts in America. Students at Wilder elementary spend much of their time learning to use 3D printers, studying robotics, or creating animated movies using the same technology as Hollywood studios. Instead of everyone learning the same subject at the same time, at Wilder, each student is working on a different subject using their individual iPads. The teacher at Wilder Elementary, Stephanie Bauer, uses her iPad to monitor everything every student in her class is doing. “So I can see if a student is answering too fast or if they’re just stuck on a screen,” Bauer said. When Jessicah Cole brought her son Wyatt there, he’d been in constant trouble at his previous school. Now, he’s thriving. “I mean, he is just, blossoming and it’s happening so fast. I mean, its kind of shocking,” Cole said. “He didn’t have very good self esteem .. and now he feels like he is part of something important.” It’s part of a new approach called personalized learning and Superintendent Jeff Dillon thinks it fixes the flaws of traditional education.