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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.

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Apple's Genius Idea: Donating Your Old iPad to Teach For America Classrooms

iPads are extremely useful educational tools, so it's nice that Apple is helping to funnel used first-generation models to schools that need them.


Good news for all you iPad owners who want an excuse to upgrade to the iPad 2. Apple has teamed up with Teach For America, the nonprofit education organization that places mostly recent college grads in low performing, low income schools, to help funnel old iPads into the classrooms. All you have to do is turn in your first generation iPad at an Apple store and they'll make sure it gets in the hands of a kid who needs it.

Apple's partnership with TFA comes at a time when school districts are increasingly investing in iPads as learning tools—teachers love iPads because they can download apps or pull up online skill-building programs for kids who need extra practice. Plus, the easy access to information they provide makes researching and learning about countless subjects a snap. Unfortunately, given the budget cuts coming down the pike, few schools can put iPads in classrooms on their own dime.

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Is the iPad Set to Dominate Public Schools?

New York City just dropped $1.3 million on 2,000 iPads. Should your local school district do the same?


Remember when schools used to have the goal of every student having a laptop for classroom use? Well, that one-to-one student laptop program dream is so last year. In 2011, the iPad revolution is on, and school districts are increasingly investing in them as the education tech tool of choice.

The least expensive iPad starts at $499 a pop, but cash-strapped districts are placing the orders and writing the checks. The New York City Public Schools just purchased more than 2,000 iPads. The cost? $1.3 million dollars.

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