San Diego Unified School District just signed a deal with Apple to purchase 26,000 iPads. The iPads will be used by 8th graders, 5th graders, and select high school students in San Diego. The district paid over $15 million for the tablets, saving $30 on each one thanks to Apple’s discount for educators. Some studies indicate that use of tablet computers in the classroom can have a positive effect on test scores and academic performance. And numerous studies indicate that being able to use technology in the classroom keeps kids motivated and engaged.
San Diego Unified School District hasn’t announced yet exactly how they’re going to use the iPads as a part of their overall curriculum. Other school districts that have adopted iPad programs have primarily used iBooks textbooks. iBooks textbooks keep kids interested in learning with videos, 3D images, interactive diagrams, and animations. So, it’s safe to assume that the lucky San Diego students who get iPads in their classrooms will be using iBooks.
San Diego Unified School District used funds from the City of San Diego’s Proposition S to purchase the iPads. Proposition S is a bond program that helps fund the integration of new technology in San Diego schools. According to San Diego’s local ABC News website, some parents have objected to the district’s purchase of the iPads, claiming that the funds could have been used for other, more practical initiatives, such as hiring additional teachers.
Despite some criticism, many San Diego residents and educators are excited about the surge of iPads headed to their local classrooms. The $15 million acquisition of iPads will allow San Diego to jumpstart one of the largest education initiatives involving tablet computers in the U.S. If the program is a success, we can expect more and more school districts in the U.S. and around the world to replace textbooks with tablets, and the current generation of kids will become even more connected (and hopefully more informed) than they already are.
==== About the Author ====
Angelita Williams is a freelance blogger who specializes in education-related content. She’s familiar with educational practices for every age and lifestyle, from online college courses to homeschooling to traditional learning. You can contact Angelita anytime at [email protected]