iPad pilot program helps El Monte students learn before using device to play games

Eric Resendiz Image
Thursday, July 14, 2022
iPad pilot program helps El Monte students learn
In June, the El Monte City School District partnered with the app Learn It To Earn It to launch a pilot program for students to earn play time credit.

EL MONTE, Calif. (KABC) -- It was like Christmas in June for a group of El Monte City School District students who were gifted iPads at a giveaway event on Wednesday. These iPads are unique because students need to learn before they earn play time on the device.

"Normally, an iPad would just let you download games, but this iPad, you have earn it," said Leonardo Herrera, an elementary student with the school district. "You have to be able to answer math equations and reading equations to just play."

A group of about 20 elementary students now have an iPad with a unique app called Learn It To Earn It. The app hides all other apps and games. The only way to access them again is by completing educational modules, which then gives students credit in their time bank. That's when the students can use the iPad for fun.

"I am one of the parents who likes to have their kid outside, which he does go outside, but he also likes the electronics because that's the generation," said parent Lakisha Gordon. "With this, it allows me to know he is learning in the process. You can definitely see the progress, you can see the differences in reading, and he is a wiz in math."

Victor Joseph Smith is the CEO of the app and its developer. He said it's been six years in the making. Smith's degrees are in child development and psychology. The app also helps students be self-disciplined, think critically and manage their own time.

"What you have now though, is you have a child who understands that if I take this exam and I get a 100% on the exam, I get 75 minutes ... to stream, to YouTube ... whatever they want to do," Smith said.

Smith raised the money to gift the iPads to the students. The app modules are about 15 to 20 minutes long and the topics are in math, science, history and reading. The settings allow to gear the app for kids in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Parents can download it and join with a free 10-day subscription.

"This is a great pilot of this app and we are excited to be partners with Mr. Smith," said Roberto Lopez-Mena, the director of student support services at the school district. "Students and parents are very excited to participate in this opportunity."

To learn more about Learn It To Earn It, visit their website.