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      McAllen ISD raises the bar

      McAllen ISD has been inundated with calls from educators over the past few months.

      They all want to learn how the district has implemented using the iPad in the classroom.

      In response the district held an all day demonstration tour for educators Wednesday.

      Dozens of educators from across the state and across the border gathered at Fossum Middle School in McAllen to learn the process McAllen ISD administrators took to successfully put technology in the classroom.

      Gloria Rendon, assistant superintendent of United ISD in Laredo came to see firsthand how iPads in the classroom are making an impact.

      "So far we like what we have seen and we are excited to take the message back to our district, Rendon said.

      Issuing mobile learning devices to nearly 25,000 students was not an easy process.

      "It TMs not something you can just do overnight, McAllen ISD Board President Hilda Garza-Deshazo said. It's a procedure there are steps, formalities, budgeting community things that need to be done."

      While many districts are looking to take classroom learning to the next level, McAllen ISD superintendent James Ponce tells other educators they can't do it without help.

      "You don't get going without the support across the board of different aspects in the community," Ponce said.

      And helping other districts gain the support they need to help their own students is what McAllen hopes to accomplish as well.

      "We're just thrilled that they want to come and we are so happy to share with them what we are able to do in hopes that other children will benefit from it as well, Garza-Deshazo said.

      "Things are different in the classroom today, Rendon said. They are not the same text book type learning and we want our kids to be ahead of that curve."

      So many districts wanted to attend today's demonstration tour the district has decided to hold another one next February.