Mobile app gives little girl chance at education - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Mobile app gives little girl chance at education

Kyra Conrad on the FaceTime app for iPad. Kyra Conrad on the FaceTime app for iPad.
Kyra participates in her preschool class via Smart board projection. Kyra participates in her preschool class via Smart board projection.
PORT CLINTON, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Danbury Local Schools is using a popular mobile app to give one girl the education she otherwise wouldn't be able to receive.

For most children, preschool is an introduction to social interaction with their peers. A regular day at school consists of singing songs and sharing toys, but for Kyra Conrad, that's not possible.

She was born with multiple intestinal atresia – only 2 percent of her intestines developed, which led to Severe Combined Immunodefeciency. That means interacting physically with anyone could have deadly consequences for the 4-year-old.

"It would risk her life," Kyra's father Kory Conrad said. "To have [her] in a school setting, that would be hard for her immune system."

So Kyra spends almost all of her time at home, where her family has to where masks when sick and shower as soon as they get home. She has never seen another child her own age.

"She's never been able to sing and dance in a classroom," said Lori Brown, a pre-K teacher at Danbury Local Schools. "She's never been able to share a snack with someone else."

Last month, Kyra's father, a teacher at Danbury, got the ball rolling on an out-of-the-box way to give Kyra a social education.

Kyra uses an iPad and the FaceTime app. Her image is projected on a Smart board, and a teacher's assistant can carry her around the room to interact with the other students.

"Whether it be through a physical sense of learning, while we're moving and dancing, they're looking at the Smart board to make sure Kyra is a part of it as well," Brown said.

Her father said in only a month, the experience has already changed Kyra's life.

"She's experiencing, she's interacting with kids her own age," Conrad said. "This has improved the quality of her life…This is something that has really opened up avenues."

Not only is the little girl's life changing, but also the lives of the people she has connected with through technology.

"I realize that maybe we all take things for granted," Brown said. "And that we should just take a closer look, and appreciate everything that happens within a day in a classroom."

Click here for the full interview with Lori Brown of Danbury Local Schools

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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