iNsane? Auburn, Maine, Is Giving an iPad2 to Every Kindergarten Student

Next school year, every five-year-old in Maine will learn via iPad. Is it too much tech too soon?

\n\n\n\n\n Maine (who would have guessed?) continues to lead the way in education technology. Not only is the state an international leader in tech literacy due to their one-to-one laptop program for middle and high school students, now one small town plans to give an iPad 2 to every kindergarten student.

The school board in Auburn, population 24,000, voted unanimously to provide the tablets to 285 kindergarteners and their teachers. At $475 a pop, the investment will cost around $200,000, but the board hopes the tablets will help boost literacy from 62 percent to 90 percent by 2013. Superintendent Tom Morrill says the investment's worth it, calling the devices "essential" and saying they're "even more important than a book." Morrill hopes to make the investment an annual one, giving iPads to every following class. His plan is to pay for the devices with private donations, but if that falls through, the bill will fall to the city's taxpayers.

Not all taxpayers are thrilled about that possibility. Nicole Fortin told the Bangor Daily News she thinks the idea's "crazy." Taxpayers are already strapped and worries about about kids breaking the devices—the students will get to take the iPads homeare rampant. "This is a lot to put in the hands of a 5-year-old," says Fortin. With student addiction to media now the norm, parents are also concerned about giving so much screen time to such young kids.

But, in the video above, you can see how excited the students are to learn their letters using downloadable apps, and the state's laptop program has boosted student achievement. What do you think? Should kindergarteners stick to "old school" books or is Auburn on the right track?

photo via The Apple Bites


Cancer is still the second leading cause of death after heart disease for both men and women. The American Cancer Society predicts that 2020 will bring almost 1.8 million new cancer cases and 600,000 cancer deaths, but there's also some good news. The American Cancer Society recently published a report in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians stating the U.S. cancer death rates experienced the largest-single year decline ever reported.

Between 2016 and 2017, cancer death rates fell by 2.2%. While cancer death rates have been steadily falling over the past three decades, it's normally by 1.5% a year. Cancer death rates have dropped by 29% since 1991, which means that there have been 2.9 million fewer cancer deaths in the past three decades than there would have been if the mortality rate had remained constant.

Keep Reading

The Australian bushfires have claimed 27 human lives, an estimated 1 billion animals are feared dead, and thousands of properties have been completely decimated.

The fires were caused by extreme heat and dryness, the result of 2019 being the country's hottest year on record, with average temperatures 1.52C above the 1961-1990 average.

The area hit hardest by the fires, New South Wales, also had its hottest year on record, with temperatures rising 1.95C above average.

Keep Reading
The Planet

Dr. Nicole Baldwin is a pediatrician in Cincinnati, Ohio who is so active on social media she calls herself the Tweetiatrician.

She also has a blog where she discusses children's health issues and shares parenting tips.

Keep Reading