Some Massachusetts parents question proposal to buy 150 new iPads for kindergarteners

“Parents in Ashburnham [Massachusetts] are questioning a school proposal to buy 150 new iPads for children in kindergarten,” MyFoxBoston reports.

“The idea is for the school district to purchase 150 iPads for children to use in class,” MyFoxBoston reports. “Parents would be given the option to lease them for 25 dollars a month for two years. At the end of the two year term, the parents would own them. Some question if this is the best use of taxpayer money. Catherine Adair has children in school at Briggs Elementary. She tells FOX 25, ‘We have no Vice Principal. We have a very bare bones staff. I don’t think kindergartners having iPads is the best expenditure of taxpayer money.'””

MyFoxBoston reports, “So why kindergarteners? The superintendent, Dr. Michael Zapantis, says the idea is to start with the youngest kids, then eventually move up to the higher grades. “What we see in the iPad is the tool of the future that students can use in the classroom to expand their learning experiences.”

Full article, with video, here.

91 Comments

  1. It’s a stupid idea, especially if you’re laying off teachers and administrators just to keep the district afloat.

    The iPad may be a tool of the future, but it’s teachers who wield the tool box.

    1. You do not know what u r talking about!

      I have a 4 year old with an ASD and the iPad is the single biggest learning tool in the game. My four year old now spells out complete sentences and is way in front of the other kids his age in spelling and counting.

      Read and Learn before you voice an opinion!

        1. iQuestion, iSentence, All of the Kindergarten.com apps (amazing), smart baby apps, (all of them), the ABC, 123 series (Brain Counts), there are some others. I will get the iPad, check and post again.

          1. Assuming that by ASD you are referring to a disorder related to autism (rather than Atrial Septal Disorter, or Acute Stress Disorder), then you probably did the best possible thing for your child by giving him the iPad.

            Apparently, there are still many of us here who, regardless of our cheerleading attitude towards Apple, still don’t realise how many really useful apps exist for the iOS platform in general, and iPad in particular.

            1. I agree Predrag. The iPad is a wonderful teaching tool and it isn’t an exclusive to children with, or without disabilities, people of all ages stand to benefit from its use.

              No one is arguing about the merits of the iPad. Least of all me, but WTF does Thomas’ position have to do with my opinion about this doctor’s priorities?

      1. So the iPad succeeded where you failed as a Parent, is that what you’re saying Thomas?

        What does what I said about a school district’s financial judgement have to do with your child’s learning disability? My sincerest apologies if you tell me your 4-year old goes to this particular school. If not, then please explain the connection between this school districts financial judgement call and your son?

        My point was school districts who are firing teachers and doubling and trebling classroom sizes to compensate and this moron doctor thinks iPads will fill the void left by vacating teachers! It’s absurd on its face.

        I do know what I’m talking about. My daughter teaches kindergarten in one of the most poorest school districts in Phoenix, Arizona. Half of the children are African refugees and the rest are mixture of poor white trash and children of illegal aliens, many of whom have a life-expectancy of twenty-years. Their parents can’t afford to pay twenty-five dollars for clothing, much less a burden like an iPad. An older sibling would probably steal and sell it.

        Read and comprehend before you go picking a fight with me, you douche.

        1. I only read your first line and laughed. but I read it all.

          I can’t have an argument with someone who obviously doesn’t understand and is not willing to research a bit first. Good day.

          PS. I find I usually agree with you here but i guess not today.

          1. can’t have an argument with someone who obviously doesn’t understand and is not willing to research a bit first. Good day.

            That’s right Thomas, we’re arguing about two different things. You’re talking up the merits of the iPad as a teaching tool and I’m questioning the judgement of a school administrator who is ready to put a 75,000 dollar burden on parents who haven’t had a say in the matter.

          1. Again Thomas, your myopic thinking is still focused on how great the iPad has been for you and your son, but you’re not looking at the bigger picture.

            Thomas, five-year-olds in Kindergarten don’t get books, so there is absolutely no burden on the parents, or the administrators to buy books as it is.

            That will change for this school district. Suddenly these parents will be forced, against their will to buy an iPad for their kids! And why iPads? Is there a conflict of interest?

            And what happens, six-months into the school year when its lost, or stolen or broken? Is the financial burden suddenly lifted from the parents? Does the school district replace it? Or is it now on the parents to replace the device with a second one?

          1. Only because you made this story all about your four-year old and those like Predrag have given you the nod of sympathy and destroyed any chance of having a discussion about the impact of another school administrator’s misplaced thinking.

        2. Just because your daughter teaches doesn’t mean every experience is the same. That’s the cardinal sin of teaching, thinking everything is the same everywhere I think the point is devices LIKE iPads can help kids learn in a highly technical world. I think Thomas is succeeding by using such device and Applesmack is right to ask which apps he uses. My son is 11 months and he knows how to unlock my iPhone and uses several apps which are geared towards learning. Sure he is a little young to comprehend much but he does well with matching games, and that works for me. I think your comment illustrated who the real douche is, you.

          1. Again, I’m not arguing the merits of the iPad!

            I’m questioning this administrators logic of bringing in technology to the classroom against the judgement of parents who are arguing the school doesn’t even have a full compliment of staff!

            1. The point is, the district is not even spending their own money; they are asking the parents to foot the bill ($25 per month for two years). That’s full retail price of 32GB model.

              The parent’s complaints (wasting taxpayers’ money, when they need teachers) is misplaced and misguided. Even if this WAS to come out of the distsrict’s budget, it would be from the technology budget, and that money simply CANNOT be used to hire teaching staff.

              The point here to debate is, whether it is worthwhile for parents to BUY the iPads for their children or not. Argument has been made by Thomas (the Canadian) and myself that it is a worthwhile investment. I have a 5-th grader and a kindergartner, and would be more than happy to fork over $50 every month, so that they could get their iPads right away and use them for school.

            2. Great Predrag, that’s just great coming from you two foreigners who don’t have a dog in this fight.

              There are many points to be pondered.

              Given a choice, how many parents would go out and buy an iPad for their school-aged children? How many will question the logic in that?

              How many parents will reject the idea of paying over time for something that is still unproven in their eyes?

              What about the teaching curriculum that is already in place, that was developed without an iPad in mind?

              Will tests be administered using the iPad?

              What about those school districts who can’t even begin to consider adopting the iPad. Is the government going to step in and subsidize those purchases?

              What about school districts who choose HP tablets over iPad? And the dilemma for those parents who are Apple cheerleaders?

              My daughter works her tail off to develop a curriculum to teach her children to read and everything is written out long hand, pictures are hand drawn, and half the materials she pays for out of her own pocket.

              She is judged by administrators on her performance to deliver her curriculum; it’s the standard by which she is judged. Her own words and ideas are used to measure how effective she is at teaching.

              I know how hard she, and all the other teachers work, the sacrifices they make to teach these kids a lesson or two, and anyone who believes the iPad is a substitution for their commitment is delusional.

              I have no doubt this technology will prove to be an effective tool in a classroom setting but, ITS NOT THE HOLY GRAIL! There is no substitute for one-on-one teaching.

            3. It seems that you may have misunderstood some of my points.

              Nothing will EVER substitute a one-on-one relationship with a teacher, and would never suggest that.

              My children go to school in New York (a private school). A group of parents has already begun lobbying for iPads in the classroom. Their arguments are that the devices are already being used in other schools in the US and elsewhere, with success. In other words, methods have already been developed to leverage the available software to more effectively teach the mandatory curricula.

              My point is, an iPad in the hands of a kindergartner would be an extremely efficient weapon for a teacher to effectively cover the material (s)he needs to cover.

              From my own angle, I’m not concerned by any non-Apple tablets proposed in any other school district. For the same (selfish) reasons, it doesn’t concern me what this Massachusetts district decides in the end. I would very much like to see my daughters’ particular school jump on the iPad bandwagon as soon as they can afford it, because I truly believe that with proper teacher training, they could be much more efficient in teaching my children.

              In my school, every classroom has a whiteboard. These whiteboards are used extensively, from K through 12th grade (writing, drawing, colouring, slide show presentations, showing videos / educational films, etc). When a tool is properly implemented, the results are very positive.

            4. “In my school, every classroom has a whiteboard…”

              Make that: smartboard (the electronic kind, with a stylus and a projector, booth hooked up to a computer).

            5. a private school

              nuff said… I don’t believe in For-profit education and everything I have said so far has been focused on non-profit, public education.

              If everyone here is talking about for-profit education then I’m done talking.

            6. Why wouldn’t you believe in “for profit” education? It is just as valid and effective as public, and in my case, more appropriate choice for my children and my circumstances. It is more than likely that, were I to live and work in a different neighbourhood, my children would have been attending a public school.

              Most importantly, teaching methods and tools aren’t really fundamentally different between the different school types (public, private, charter, catholic, etc).

            7. Predrag, I’m not going to argue with you about the merits of public vs private education. This is not the forum such discussions. This is an Apple-centric forum and not a political one.

              I’m not anti-iPad, I just don’t embrace technology like many of you do, as a savior to our education system, I think the iPad is just a red herring.

              What it offers is ideology. Technology has been good to many of us, it opened doors, we absorbed copious amounts of knowledge and we think it will do the same for our kids.

              Perhaps, but there is something horribly wrong with our education system that no iPad can cure.

              THE IPAD IS NOT THE ANSWER TO WHAT AILS OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM!

              It’s people, and it will always be people and Socrates didn’t have iPads!

            8. It seems to me that your inside view into the American education system (through your daughter) has given you a pretty bleak picture. I sure hope the situation isn’t as prevalent as you are painting it to be.

              While at it, I agree, that iPad will certainly NOT solve problems any education system may have. Regardless of iPad (or no iPad), it will, of course, always be people.

              All I’m saying is, with the same existing people, properly introducing the iPad into the system will likely make teachers’ job easier (and perhaps more fun, too), and result in more efficient learning. In other words, I believe an investment in the iPad will NOT be a wasteful one.

            9. Predrag, there’s a saying in education, you teach to the slowest student in the class.

              From where I sit, I see the worst education has to offer and until we fix that problem then what hope do the rest of us have for our future? Because I can tell you, poor trashy public schools far outweigh for-profit education centers.

    2. Look down the road a bit. If you’re concerned about finances think about having a whole school eventually equipped with iPads and subscribing to textbooks, rather than buying them every year. Bought a text book lately? $60 for a paperback?

      And frankly, WTF does an elementary school need with a vice-principal?

      1. And frankly, WTF does an elementary school need with a vice-principal?

        If I have to explain that one to you, you wouldn’t understand the answer.

        School books? My student loans could have been cut in half, if not for books!

        All I’m saying is, once you open this door, there is no turning back, because a year from now that student is walking into First grade armed with an iPad and their teacher will have to be ready to teach from the iPad. And so on, and so on.

        I’m questioning the commitment to adopt the iPad right now. I’m not arguing how good it is for education, I’m questioning such an expensive leap of faith, when our crappy text books are failing our children! Big deal, put the crappy books on an iPad, it won’t make any difference in a child’s education.

        What I want to know is have you looked down the road a bit?

        Adopting the iPad is a monumental change by an order of magnitude! There is much more to this story than simply handing an iPad over to a five-year-old. The logistics itself, will be a financial burden on everyone involved.

        My position is this, adopting the iPad to supplement our kids’ education should be done in a trial/experimental setting and not foisted on some random school district in some ham-handed arbitrary fashion when the iPad itself is just the tip of the iceberg, in terms of logistics and deployment.

        Adopting the iPad calls for a change in the way we teach school, period. I’m not arguing that it’s about time we focused on what really matters in a child’s education, I’m arguing why the iPad and why now?

        What makes this doctor think his district is even capable of deploying this device AND using it effectively in a classroom setting.

        I get it, there are lots of terrific iPad programs available for children but since when did they get a blessing from the Department of Education, or the PTA, or me as a parent?

        Could this device be used as a substitute for hands-on teaching, the same way television became a substitute for parental responsibility in the Sixties and Seventies?

        I am looking down the road Zeke, and I am passionate about this topic, because I’m not convinced that this doctor has our children’s best interest at heart.

        What happens when he leaves the district? What if his successor is a Windows guy, who despises everything Apple stands for?

        What then Zeke?

        1. This is a strong argument.

          I believe, though, that you simply HAVE to start somewhere. Much like introduction of desktop computers into the classroom, this is being tone in the same manner. Let’s not forget; there are already school districts in the US that have already been using the iPad from the beginning of this school year. The point is, many of these school districts have motivated, creative, innovative and driven people (teachers, principals, technology directors, etc) who have the talent and the will to figure out how to most effectively and seamlessly integrate the iPad into the classroom.

          Much like with everything else, there will surely be places where iPad was brought in only to replace passive book reading (waste of money, even if it manages to actually make some things better), but there will be enough of those with positive experiences and usage, who could share such experiences with others.

          To the question: Why now?, I would say, Why wait? It is difficult to imagine how this could go wrong and have negative results (unless everyone in the district is an idiot and has no clue what to do in order to make this work for teachers and children).

          I don’t have any practical experience with American schools, so I may be off, but in my 20 years of living in America, I have met enough teacher to know that most of them are dedicated and creative. Based on those encounters, I believe projects such as this one have pretty good chances at succeeding.

          1. The introduction of computers in the American school system has taken place over the last twenty-years and it still hasn’t obtained many of the objectives outlined for its deployment. And don’t even get me started on bidding wars by the computer manufacturers and the role that process plays in disrupting the education process.

            I read where laptops and such are being issued to children and the way they’re supposed to replace books, but the process is a two-track affair and the books are supposed to be weeded out over time. So what’s the hold up? Publishers? Administrators trying to decide which books are digitized? Don’t even get me started on Texas, who wants to rewrite books like Huck Finn or ban others because they fall outside of their ideology or religious view of the world.

            If Massachusetts is the proving ground then so be it. But I want to see results before we start patting each other on the back and foisting this technology on the rest of the nation.

            Did you not go to school here in America? One only need look back on their own education and decide for themselves if it worked or not.

            Mine could have been so much better, if I hadn’t moved from school to school ten-times in eighteen years! The best education I ever received was Balboa high school in the Canal Zone of Panama. Two years of grueling work, unlike the namby-pamby first two-years of high school in California.

            You know something school hasn’t really changed all that much over the last fifty-years, it’s still the same old crappy institutional, industrial process it started out as during this country’s industrial revolution.

            In and out, see ya’ and good luck with your future. I’m mean really, how many of you can recite the names of the teachers you had in school? How many of them made a real difference in your life?

            The one’s who did, had a way about them. You admired them and were inspired by them. They encouraged you, they understood you and had an answer for everything that troubled you in life.

            You were motivated to succeed because you didn’t want to fail, or disappoint them in any way. Many of them were your first exposure to another grown-up opinion in life besides your mom and dad.

            Coaches, economics, math, science, and art teachers had a profound impact on our lives and they didn’t have technology to fall back on. They reached out to us through our minds with words, just words, spoken in a trance-like, rhythmic intonation that stuck!

            I believe there is a better way and it’s being practiced all over the country, in private schools and public education but right now we can’t draw a consensus of what is working and what isn’t, much less look to iPads for our salvation!

            It starts with you people, you who have school-aged kids, to tell the PTA what you want. I’m not talking about joining some damn club, I’m talking about picking up the phone, right now, and telling someone you care!

    3. Even the best teacher in the world is worthless if the students don’t genuinely care about learning.

      If iPads are used as a catalyst for education then that gives kindergarteners a motivation to actually give a shit, since iPads are fun and awesome.

      In contrast, being taught through workbooks and classroom lectures is suicidally boring, and tends to go in out ear and out the other for this reason.

      I’d probably be illiterate if it weren’t for video and computer games, for example. Before I started playing them, I honestly didn’t care about reading. It was just this extraneous bunch of nonsense that people were trying to teach me for God only knows what stupid reason, I certainly couldn’t figure it out, as nothing I found remotely interesting required *me personally* to be literate.

      Then I entered the world of sweet, sweet gaming. It gave me an actual reason to take up reading, because hey, who doesn’t enjoy knowing what the hell’s going on when you’re playing a game? Or tweaking the options so you have a really entertaining round of Scorched Earth, which sort of requires being able to read them? ‘Course, my literacy was a bit rough around the edges even after that, but at least I possessed literacy. After I got my first internet connection, surfing the ‘net in my insatiable quest for comedy sites, ROMS, and porn buffed my skills like crazy. I was reading at a level somewhere above average college grads by the time I was 13(which might have said more about average college grads at the time than it said about me, but still…). So great was my moivation that the bulk of all this was self-taught.

      My point is, the single greatest catalyst for learning in the whole world is a fun game, or a neat contraption, or some form of spectacular entertainment that is impossible to play, use, or be entertained by(or locate) without first being educated in some particular subject. And I don’t mean this in the sense of “you’d better do your math homework or you don’t get to play videogames”, either. That sort of stuff is bullshit that sets the videogame(or whatever) up as the motivator as opposed to the actual learning and knowledge themselves, making them both easily forgettable as well as no less boring and difficult to pick up.

      So yeah, I’ve got to give my stamp of approval to this iPads-for-kindergarteners idea. It fulfills every criteria for fostering effective, in-depth, self-motivated learning I can think of, and the earlier the better.

      1. My daughters’ school doesn’t do iPads yet. However, their math homework is very often done online. There are several commercial web sites that provide this type of service (such as Mathathon.org). The teacher distributes user names and passwords, and all assignments are done online. Kids play online math games and the pace and level of math learning is noticeably faster than traditional workbooks.

      2. You are right, teaching has to reach into the minds of the student and compel them to ask questions, that’s how learning takes place.

        As I stated, my daughter has a knack for making it fun, because of her many voices and faces and histrionics, she breaks down barriers, crosses social and cultural lines, and makes all the difference in the eyes of her children.

        She is effective and she would tell you these kids don’t need iPads, they need human interaction, they need discipline, and more than anything else, they need parents who value an education.

        1. My older daughter has such a teacher (math/science). He makes it so much fun, she tells us about his particular class first thing after coming from school every day. This guy is very creative, entertaining and funny (much like your daughter), and he is not affraid to use technology (smartboard, the web) to motivate the kids.

            1. And I didn’t take it that way.

              My reaction was you using “fear” as some kind of barrier to technology that has to be overcome before a teacher can effectively deploy technology in the classroom.

              Like many things, you find in a classroom setting, might go unused because the teacher lacks any formal training is such things.

              Smartboards in classrooms are an invaluable teaching aid, but they are limited in scope and are but a means to an end. In other words, we’re not sending smartboards home with our kids.

              They’re just another tool in a teacher’s arsenal, but unless the teacher is confident in its use, its of no use to her students.

              Look, teachers have many technological advantages in their classrooms, all designed to make their jobs easier but, more often than not, they can become a hinderance to a child’s education.

              Some teachers have a Jones for technology and feel inadequate with out it but as it is, our children are being exposed to a mixed bag of education standards and principles that have a profound impact on their ability to absorb what’s being taught.

              In my mind, an ideal classroom setting doesn’t include technology or homework. Homework is the biggest load of crap ever foisted on the nuclear family.

              Homework my ass. This is school work that can’t be covered in school because it gets in the way of the school’s schedule, the calendar, and the clock.

              School is all about regimentation, like an assembly-line process, our kids aren’t going to school for the learning experience, they following a process of regimented scheduling and conflict management.

              That’s why I believe our kids are so fscking stupid. Like that one person above talking about how computer video games salvaged his education.

              Bullshit, he found an alternative life-style that suited him more.

    4. Is it a matter of keeping the district afloat or is it that the pay package of these state workers is beyond the means of the taxpayers that support them?

      That is, which is cheaper, an iPad with a host of educational apps, videos, interactive documents, etc. or a teacher? It can also be asked which is more efficient and which might hold the attention of the student thus causing this little thing we like to call – learning.

      I didn’t see much tool box wielding in Wisconsin, but rather tax payer funded people who became an obnoxious mob at the thought of receiving less. Let’s face it, they threw out the standard phrase “It’s for the children!”, but we know that is pure BS. It was all about them. Then they complained about WI Governor Walker as a union buster… excuse me, what got the state in the position it found itself in? Hello! Greedy Unions and Irresponsible Politicians!! I just paid property tax on my house to my city and the literature had a breakdown of where the money goes. Forty-eight percent of what is collected goes to education! And the unions go around saying without us, you wouldn’t have child labor laws, five day work week, eight hour work day, and whatever else. Yeah, getting rid of child labor was great, but can anyone tell me when the union fought to improve a general social cause other than their own welfare in the form of a pay package with benefits?

      1. Whatever4real would argue that what’s good for Wisconsin is not necessarily good for the rest of America.

        I don’t care what anyone says, public education teachers are getting the shitty end of the shaft.

        Effective eachers can’t work two jobs! They can barely keep up with mandates on their personal education, much less keep the classroom fresh and moving forward on a day-to-day basis. Constant interruptions by a handful of students who undermine a teachers ability to help the others…

        Nice try now, now but your anecdotal evidence hardly supports you point.

  2. Kindergartners don’t need computers or iPads; they need crayons, pencils, papers, and teachers. 150 iPads is $75,000, which could certainly hire a couple of teachers or teacher’s aids to help teach the kids rather than a cool device that really isn’t necessary for that age group.

    1. Wrong. Teachers is all they really need. There is NOTHING special about crayons, pencils and papers that would give them any sort of edge comparing to simply using an iPad.

      Funny how so many Apple users are backwards-thinking.

      1. … the students are learning to recognize (iPad works) and FORM (iPad does NOT work) their basic tools – letters and numbers. Get a teacher or a couple of assistants and save some money.

        1. he students are learning to recognize (iPad works) and FORM (iPad does NOT work) their basic tools – letters and numbers.

          How does it NOT work???

          I have seen several apps where children can WRITE letters and numbers. Some work with fingers, others work with a stylus (mimicking a pencil). I guess I was right earlier (not many here are aware of educational apps for iOS).

          1. Perhaps that’s because many of us here are older, wiser, and have already raised our children the old fashion way, checking their homework.

            You’d be surprised how many children there are who can’t even use crayons or cut with scissors or write their own name by the time they enter school for the first time.

            My kids entered school being able to count to a hundred, read and write, recite their abc’s and they did it all without computers.

            1. It is truly sad to see so many parents completely ignoring their children’s learning needs during the early pre-school years.

              My children also entered school just like yours (able to read, write, count to 100 and recite ABCs). They DID have a little help from computers (we DO have two Macs at home…), but good part of those skills they learned through one-on-one interaction with a parent (usually my wife, as I am mostly at work).

              It is also fascinating to observe the difference in early learning on my younger one (5), compared to when my older one (almost 11) was her age, specifically as it relates to computer use. Only 6 years of difference, yet there are noticeably better online early learning resources out there. I must admit, my little one learned more and sooner than her sister did at her age.

            2. You also have to consider the fact the we as parents, get better with time, and many of us honed our own skills and delivery methods to the benefit of their younger siblings.

              I’m happy for you Predrag, I’m glad you’re kids are doing well and you (and maybe more so your wife) should take a bow.

              I salute you and your kids’ future. But there are still too many unfortunate children on this planet who don’t, and never will have the same opportunities as our children did.

              These are the one’s who will take over when we’re gone and one has to ask are we prepared to give it to them, and are they ready?

              Scary, scary.

        2. That has got to be the weakest argument you could possibly pull off. You do not “FORM” anything with “pencils, papers and crayons”, as far as I know…

    2. While most of the developing world is increasing the educational standards of education starting earlier with children, you are proposing we continue with crayons?

      The iPad in classrooms isn’t intended to replace teachers, it is a tool to enhance education. The nay sayers will use such tactics to prove their point but the iPad is a proven tool for education and any sound investment in education is its own reward.

      Lastly, if my kid was going to a school that was promoting the use of iPads in the classroom, I would say, “heck yeah!” and probably the school would see an increase in enrollment. The other kids can go to crayon only schools.

      1. Lastly, if my kid was going to a school that was promoting the use of iPads…

        And if they promoting Windows tablets? Would you feel the same? Would you question how effective a Windows tablet could be in education?

        Remember ITV in the classroom? I don’t, never had it. But I’m sure everyone who did, came away thinking it was a brilliant idea.

    3. Do you even have kids? do you care about their education? You better read up and learn about the educational aids and tools already out there for the iPad.

      WOW, what a lack of real knowledge here at MDM today.

    4. I agree. My daughter’s school district bought those White Boards for every classroom, thinking they were merging high-tech with teaching and now all they do is get in the way.

      No one has written a curriculum for the use of these boards and the Windows software that powers them is a snake in the grass.

      As a result, she works harder to compensate for not being able to meet the districts expectations to deploy the White Boards.

  3. Products like this are not appropriate for kindergardener, or even maybe up to 2/3rd grade. Kids eyes are still developing and staring at screens all day are bad for them. Also kids need to learn other ways, like interacting together, playing with blocks or physical objects, talking to friends and teachers. Too much technology too young is going to do weird things to very little kids. I agree with the parents but not for financial reasons. If you disbelieve my general comment, read the Wired magazine article on how internet use actually can change the way your brain thinks. http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/05/ff_nicholas_carr/

    1. I’m not sure where you are getting your studies on the human eye… but I’ve been staring at a computer screen since I was 5… So after 20 years I still to this day my vision is almost 20/5(I can read usually the first couple letters on the bottom of the eye chart 20 feet away)

      I also own an iphone, I’ve spent atleast a couple hours a day on a computer as a kid… probably 4 when I was a teen and now I spend more time in front of one than I dont… still perfect eye sight. Could just be lucky but thats my experience, being in front of computer screens all my life and I know many others that are similar and none of us need glasses. could just be lucky though…

  4. My older kids (5th and 8th grade) attend a charter school, and I would love for them to have iPads to have their textbooks, novels for class, etc. on instead of having 30-50 lbs in books to carry. That would be a much better use of those funds for Ashburnham [Massachusetts] to spend its money on kids of that age (they do online research, etc. as well) than on kindergartners.

  5. How could you guys in US be that easy to purchase 150 units of iPad? An Aussie friend of mine was wandering around for 3 weeks in Sydney-Singapore-Jakarta and failed to buy one, simply because none was available anywhere. That’s just not fair!

  6. I could see doing this for elementary kids……maybe. Middle school, totally. The middle school kids I see have TONS of books. They have backpacks that weigh like 20lbs. Insane.

    I know for me, getting books or scanning things to be viewed on my iPad is life altering. No clutter. Can find stuff, bookmark pages, etc etc.

  7. Take the money out of the “alternative families are OK” materials fund, and the sex-ed/condom fund and all is great! We need to get upset about schools spending money on social engineering and instead insist that they focus on reading, writing and arithmetic. If iPad helps meet that goal, then I approve!

  8. Take care of the teachers first, then worry about iPads. This is somebody’s idea who probably sits around all day, paid by taxpayer money, reading Engadget.

    1. Libs whining about Bush:

      Do you really think the whole world cares about the US and their politics?

      Get a grip. Left, Right. do you people think of anything else?

      Its like ford vs chevy. Bud vs Coors……

      Get over it.

      1. So Thomas, you ask what does this topic have to do with the US and their politics?

        Either or, that’s the choice we’re given, huh?

        You got off to a bad start, just like X. Questioning my judgement, not over the fact that our American economy is in the toilet, but on the merits of the iPad as a teaching tool.

        What does your child’s increased comprehension have to do with the American economy?

        1. Your economy is in the toilet because Americans are a bunch of whining, pay-for-nothing, illiterate Fox News disciples.

          Reaping your just rewards as the rest of the world chuckles and moves ahead. Trump 2012!

          Wankers.

  9. The iPad is a revolutionary learning tool. Because it is a very direct touch interface and not a keyboard or a mouse, it is very natural for kids to interact with and learn at their own speed. Clearly this is more productive than the SRA reading kits and stupid flash cards. One iPad is less expensive than the textbooks these kids will use over the next 2 years. This is a no-brainer.

  10. So, in accordance with the article, nobody here proposes that the school spends budget (i.e. taxpayers’) money. Instead, they want parents to buy the iPads (paid for over two years).

    Unlike G4Dualie’s daughter’s school (one of the poorest in the nation), This particular one does NOT look like a very poor school, and it seems that most families wouldn’t have a problem with a $25 per month payment. If that is the case, iPad as an educational tool will be significantly more valuable and efficient than pretty much EVERY other educational tool out there, including pencils, crayons, markers, blocks, black/whiteboards, etc.

    There is an abundance of extremely immersive and interactive software for children of school age that covers most of what kindergartners (as well as higher grades) learn.

    There is absolutely no downside to this programme. Whoever is opposing introduction of iPads at parents’ expense has some special agenda here, which isn’t immediately visible.

    1. The only downside in newer technology is the downfall of quality penmanship… possibly my only wish was to practice writing more than knowing I can type things up faster and it looked way better 🙁

      1. Exactly!

        Let’s skip crayons all together, right? They don’t need them in first grade either!

        I mean what is it with Crayons, anyway? It’s not as if a five-year-old needs any exposure to manual dexterity, right? Phffffft!

        And don’t even get me started on pencils. Them big, fat, red bulky things that are bigger than crayons, that write dark thick lines on the page that you can’t even begin to erase, even with that giant red eraser on the back end. Yeeeeshh!

        Penmanship, forget it! If you can’t color inside the lines with a crayon, by the time you get to second grade you won’t have mastered holding a pencil, much less trying to draw your ABCs on that lined paper with lines set so far apart, anyone without crayon skills could hardly stay within.

        meh

  11. It’s from a FOX affiliate. That should be enough to interpret the article. 😉

    Kidding aside, the way I understand it, they take money intended for desktop computers and use it to buy iPads instead. If their budgeting rules are like here in my university, the budget is tied down for specific purposes. I.e., if you can buy equipment with it, you cannot pay staffers with it. Conclusion: Instead of buying equipment that will not be used due to missing staff, they buy equipment that the students will be using. Perfectly sensible.

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