Maine kindergartners to get Apple iPad 2 units this fall

“Moments after her daughter worked on writing and pronouncing letters on an iPad 2 Thursday, Natasha Landry said she was happy the Auburn School Committee voted to give kindergartners the tablet computers in the fall,” Bonnie Washuk reports for The Sun Journal. “‘It makes it easier for teachers to teach a larger group of kids, one on one, without having more teachers,’ Landry said in the hall of Washburn Elementary School.”

Washuk reports, “The $200,000 cost for the iPad 2 tablets will be less than hiring more teachers, she said. ‘It probably would take four teachers to do what the computers can do with one teacher.’ Landry was also fine with a 5 percent hike in the school budget, even though it would mean her property taxes would go up, if the budget is approved in a May 10 referendum. ‘If we don’t try to keep up, our kids are going to fall behind,’ she said.”

Washuk reports, “Washburn Elementary School Principal Holly Couturier was ‘ecstatic’ about the vote. ‘I’ve seen myself the few students who have used iPads with [teacher] Mauri Dufour, and the gains they’ve made,’ she said. ‘If they can make those gains in a relatively short amount of time, I can’t imagine where the kindergarten students are going to be at this time next year.'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Harry B.” for the heads up.]


    1. I live 20 mins from Auburn, and I saw a clip on the local news about this. The Principal was pretty clueless. The apps he mentioned all sounded pretty basic for what they want to accomplish.

  1. I would love to have an iPad back in my kindergarden days. Image what I could do with an IPad as weapon against my enemies. I bet if you throw it like a frisbee it would travel quite far and the damage it would do.
    Seriously all kidding aside way to go Maine.

  2. I can already hear the hate. Give these little guys some drawing paper and crayons. Don’t waste money by spending it on useless iPads. What they really need is $250 Windows netbooks.

    Truthfully, when I was in the kindergarten, just give me some big lumps of clay and some log cabin pieces and I was set for the day. Back in the 50’s, I don’t remember learning the alphabet or numbers that early. It was basically play, sleep and snacks. Those were some great times. Most of my formal learning started in first grade. I’m fairly certain a device like the iPad would have gotten my attention because I was crazy about mechanical devices of all sorts. I envy those children in Maine just because they’re getting a state-of-the-art learning tool and I hope they’re able to take advantage of it.

    I spent a lot of my younger days reading science books and I would have gone crazy to use the interactive apps on an iPad. It might have changed my life… well, I’d better not go that far. It might have made it a lot more interesting.

    1. I, too, did kindergarten in the late 1950s, but I certainly remember being taught letters and numbers, and learning songs. I also recall duck-and-cover exercises – such were those times. Something like an iPad would have been pure science fiction back then; it is hard not to envy these Maine preschoolers.

    2. I would also like to see the software that they would be using. I’ve been teaching a long time and there have been many promises/threats to “replace teachers with technology”. Most of those ideas were just ways to get money into the district, but if anyone can pull it off, Apple can.

      Waiting anxiously.

  3. This is so wrong. I speak as an owner of all the Apple tech devices you can have. I am 65 years old and still remember the wonderful teachers that educated me. Less human interaction is never a good thing.

    1. They didn’t say they were replacing teachers; they’re giving teachers and students a great tool for learning. An iPad in the classroom of a wonderful teacher is a very powerful device.

  4. Regardless of all the comments pro and con above, it’s good to see a school district increasing spending rather than slashing it.

    Why is education always the first to be slashed during tough times? Cutting off your nose to spite your face?

  5. I was a computer teaching in Maine before I retired. We were the first to supply ibooks to all the teachers and students across the state in jr. high then high school. We still do. Apple was stellar in training and wired all our schools for wireless. This is a more local project but maine knows how to do it and will make it successful. They already have a model. All our kids are weaned on Macs for the past 7 years.

  6. This is a super idea! I would like to know what software they will use so that I can buy some of it.
    Wait until you see how these kids compare to their non iPad peers 6 months after they start using them.

  7. way to go maine!!!

    i gave my 3 year old an ipod touch 3g and loaded it with educational games… after 6 months of using it he already knows his alphabet, letter sounds, simple addition and can read 3-letter words…

    i’m now planning on giving him an ipad 2 for christmas

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