We’ve heard quite a bit about every ninth graders will be given some type of technology next year in the classroom, but now one area school district is looking at a new idea. They’re going to give an iPad to every student in elementary school.
From kindergarten through sixth grade, every young student at Paul Elementary School will soon have their own iPad to use at school and take home in the evening.
Thursday night, the Minidoka School board voted unanimously to accept a three year contract with the Utah company iSchool.
“We’re feeling very lucky and excited for this partnership. We think this is going to revolutionize and transform the way we do public education in an elementary school,” said Dr. Scott Rogers, superintendent.
It means 450 iPads, one for each student.
Plus, an iPad and iMac with be given to every teacher and a fully outfitted computer lab.
Many of the teachers themselves say they can’t wait to see the difference it will make.
“I think it’s a very exciting adventure to go on, and I think it’s what our kids are really searching for,” said teacher Ashley Johnson.
A school full of apple computers doesn’t come cheap. Each year the leasing cost is more than half-a-million dollars.
But, at least for the first year, the school district isn’t footing the bill at all.
ISchool covers the cost for the first year, with the expectation that later on the district will get funding help from different foundations and the state legislature.
This is a pilot program, the first in Idaho, and the question is how much of a concrete difference it will make when it comes to things like test scores.
“We want to see a bubble. We want to see a significant difference statistically. And we think that’s going to happen,” said Rogers.
Those behind the effort to get this technology in Paul Elementary say it is just the beginning and hope to get this program started in 6 to 10 other Idaho schools next year.