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Free iTunes App Designed To Help Pa. Students Pass Keystone Exams

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(Photo Credit: PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images)

Jon Delano Jon Delano
Jon Delano is a familiar face on KDKA-TV, having been the station's...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Jessica Schuster Papariello has been teaching biology for nearly 10 years at the Fox Chapel Area High School, and she was part of the state’s Department of Education team to develop a new Apple iTunes application to help students prepare for the Keystone Exams.

“It can be used as remediation. It can be used to supplement current classwork. Or just for someone who wants more information,” Papariello told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.

Apple has partnered with five states — Florida, Texas, Oregon, Virginia and Pennsylvania — to provide a platform for parents, students and teachers to download state-approved curriculum.

“I think with our 21st century learners, education has really changed,” said Papariello. “This is your standard home screen on an iPad, so you’ll go to iTunes U once you download it, and within the library I just search for Pennsylvania Learns.”

On an iPad or iPhone, it’s easy to download course material on language arts, biology and math, including algebra — subjects on which Pennsylvania students must pass a Keystone Exam at the end of the course.

Gov. Tom Corbett hailed the state’s partnership with Apple.

“Imagine this,” said Corbett, “a virtual one-stop of high quality information, hours of video footage, and web content created by subject matter experts, as well as thousands of pages from libraries around the world, all at the fingertips of Pennsylvania’s students.”

As useful as this app may be for some students, it’s no substitute for a real live teacher in a classroom, noted Papariello, who says the iTunes material available for free can help many students.

But she says, “I’d like to think that I can’t be replaced by an iPad.”

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