School district spending $200,000 on iPads for kindergarteners

Technology is all around us: From the magic of the IR remote control to the wonders of cell phones, you can’t escape it in day to day life. Children are particularly adept at picking up on new technologies and the running joke is always, “Have your kids fix your computer for you, they understand that stuff.” Computers have been a part of the classroom for years but now, according to an Associated Press article, one school district in Maine is taking it a step further and are equipping all of their kindergarten students with Apple iPads.

There are thousands of apps available for the iPad, and hundreds of them focus on education. Tom Morrill, the Superintendent of the school district, is a proponent of the new teaching device and said, “With its touchpad screen, it’s simple to use and can bring learning to life with imagery and sounds.  It’s a revolution in education.”

Other schools appear to be jumping on the tablet bandwagon as well. HamptonRoads.com is reporting that Virginia Beach schools are spending $651,000 to purchase 1,200 iPads and that each school in the district will receive between 10 and 30 of the tablets to aid in teaching.  David French, the principal at one of the elementary schools was quoted as saying, “Today’s kid is different. These kids we have, they’re wired to think digitally. They can’t be taught the old way.

With all of the budget deficits and increasing classroom sizes, is this the best way to be spending our tax dollars? While it’s a cool technology, is a five year old going to learn more with an iPad than they would with a piece of paper and some crayons?

Image Courtesy of HamptonRoads.com

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I'm trying to think of one good reason why kindergarten students need an iPad. This is just a stupid waste of tax money that could have gone for things that most schools really are in need of.

TRC said,
I'm trying to think of one good reason why kindergarten students need an iPad. This is just a stupid waste of tax money that could have gone for things that most schools really are in need of.

In my country, most school are distributing schoolbook that contain ads and some task are about "how to sing a jingle about x brand", and the worst, it is a official book authorized by the Department of Education.

So the idea is not stupid but to turn people stupid.

TRC said,
I'm trying to think of one good reason why kindergarten students need an iPad. This is just a stupid waste of tax money that could have gone for things that most schools really are in need of.

In my country, most school are distributing schoolbook that contain ads and some task are about "how to sing a jingle about x brand", and the worst, it is a official book authorized by the Department of Education.

So the idea is not stupid but to turn people stupid.

TRC said,
I'm trying to think of one good reason why kindergarten students need an iPad. This is just a stupid waste of tax money that could have gone for things that most schools really are in need of.

In my country, most school are distributing schoolbook that contain ads and some task are about "how to sing a jingle about x brand", and the worst, it is a official book authorized by the Department of Education.

So the idea is not stupid but to turn people stupid.

TRC said,
I'm trying to think of one good reason why kindergarten students need an iPad. This is just a stupid waste of tax money that could have gone for things that most schools really are in need of.

In my country, most school are distributing schoolbook that contain ads and some task are about "how to sing a jingle about x brand", and the worst, it is a official book authorized by the Department of Education.

So the idea is not stupid but to turn people stupid.

Would be neat to combine something like this with the khan academy. Just saying, and yes I know you dont need an iPad for that website. I dont even think the website is built for thr iPad though it would be neat if it was.

Want to aid in teaching?? Pay the teachers more...seriously.

I wonder how long until people at school start stealing these.

techbeck said,
Want to aid in teaching?? Pay the teachers more...seriously.

I wonder how long until people at school start stealing these.

want to aid in teaching?. easy :less student x class.

Such a waste.
Whatever happened to "Number Munchers" and "Super Munchers," I used to love those games back in grade school.
Much cheaper and just as effective....I would still play them if I could find them.

Oh look, another school district has fallen under the magical spell of "technology".

I bet they'll want that money back when they have to close an elementary school in a couple of years.

The only good thing about this would be the relief of the environment since they wouldn't need so much paper anymore. However, with the kids these days I bet the iPads will be demolished within a few weeks.

Here they were told they will have to dbl the class sizes and lay off 50% of there teachers becouse there broke. now I understand why geeez

alexalex said,
I am sure if it where Win8 tablets it would have been a god sent blessing to children.

Well the OS is irrelevant, if the tablet had a higher level of performance, a far more durable screen, and far more durable design to hold up to constant use by children it would make more sense.

if you want to factor in the OS, even Win7 would at least allow the kids to write and draw on the screen and use the inherent handwriting recognition to teach them writing, the voice recognition to help them learn to say words and learn spelling, etc...

What a waste of time and money... They could've used interactive whiteboards to better involve the kids, surely...

Kids at that age are /clumsy/; a lot of ipads are going to get broken. It doesn't just doesn't seem fiscally responsible right now.

For all you naysayers and especially those vowing to have their kids continue using 'old' methods -- enjoy your children living in the stone age -- jeesh why are people SO against progression? Could the money have been spent elsewhere? Sure! Did it happen at a bad time during our economic recession? Sure! Everyone is so against watching their children have a more in depth, more immersive, more UP TO DATE (did i mention it's CONSTANTLY up to date unlike books?) education. If you ask me, whatever we can do to help the leaders of tomorrow succeed and become an asset to society is worth every bit of hardship that it pushes onto us.

Ridgeburner said,
For all you naysayers and especially those vowing to have their kids continue using 'old' methods -- enjoy your children living in the stone age -- jeesh why are people SO against progression? Could the money have been spent elsewhere? Sure! Did it happen at a bad time during our economic recession? Sure! Everyone is so against watching their children have a more in depth, more immersive, more UP TO DATE (did i mention it's CONSTANTLY up to date unlike books?) education. If you ask me, whatever we can do to help the leaders of tomorrow succeed and become an asset to society is worth every bit of hardship that it pushes onto us.

Progression or progress?

And where are the Ipad or ANYTHING similar can be more accurate or up to date than books, did you read it on wikipedia? Yeah, we all know that if it's in the Internet.... it must be truth!!!!!

Personally I do rely on books, so will my sons with paper and crayon, scissors and glue, paints and clay! I prefer them to develop their own computer, their little grey cells!!!!

I do want my children to master the computer, not the other way around....

Ridgeburner said,
For all you naysayers and especially those vowing to have their kids continue using 'old' methods -- enjoy your children living in the stone age -- jeesh why are people SO against progression? Could the money have been spent elsewhere? Sure! Did it happen at a bad time during our economic recession? Sure! Everyone is so against watching their children have a more in depth, more immersive, more UP TO DATE (did i mention it's CONSTANTLY up to date unlike books?) education. If you ask me, whatever we can do to help the leaders of tomorrow succeed and become an asset to society is worth every bit of hardship that it pushes onto us.

Funny how so much of the rest of the world seems to think basic teaching methods are the best...Japan is probably one of the most technologically immersive cultures on the planet, but they don't have hand held computers in every students hand.

You are trying to compare oranges to giraffes. You are the utlimate consumer, it is new it must be right, the best, necessary. You need to teach kids how to THINK, not to look up and parakeet the ideas of others.

I'm 21 years old and I still think crayons are top tier and whenever I get kids, I'm making sure they stick to pencil and paper.

Have any of you guys ever seen the periodic table app or the solar system app or any number of apps that are 100x more useful than a book? How do you figure a book about the solar system is going to be as educational for a first grader as a multi-touch 3D solar system app?

Technology has a lot to offer children. It was so much easier to teach my son about anatomy using Google Body as an aid than it was to try and explain things to him with static images.

geoken said,
Have any of you guys ever seen the periodic table app or the solar system app or any number of apps that are 100x more useful than a book? How do you figure a book about the solar system is going to be as educational for a first grader as a multi-touch 3D solar system app?

Technology has a lot to offer children. It was so much easier to teach my son about anatomy using Google Body as an aid than it was to try and explain things to him with static images.

I'll grant you that much. Even if children are using standard textbooks, something interactive is much better for learning. This just seems like going overboard.

geoken said,
Have any of you guys ever seen the periodic table app or the solar system app or any number of apps that are 100x more useful than a book? How do you figure a book about the solar system is going to be as educational for a first grader as a multi-touch 3D solar system app?

Technology has a lot to offer children. It was so much easier to teach my son about anatomy using Google Body as an aid than it was to try and explain things to him with static images.

Call me old fashioned, but I prefer looking at the periodic table in the lab and memorizing it.

$651,000 for 1,200 iPads. That's a ****ty decision to aid in learning. And I bet it doesn't even go to the students. Probably for the teachers to **** with. Some new shiny toy to make them not realize how ****ed up this is. That $651,000 could buy brand new computers for EVERY classroom in some districts. Jesus. It'd be enough to do that, and have money left over to buy new supplies. Schools are such a racket. Teachers once they have tenure have it made, let alone schools with two vice principals.

DarkSim905 said,
$651,000 for 1,200 iPads. That's a ****ty decision to aid in learning. And I bet it doesn't even go to the students. Probably for the teachers to **** with. Some new shiny toy to make them not realize how ****ed up this is. That $651,000 could buy brand new computers for EVERY classroom in some districts. Jesus. It'd be enough to do that, and have money left over to buy new supplies. Schools are such a racket. Teachers once they have tenure have it made, let alone schools with two vice principals.

also why the hell is apple charging schools $542.50 per ipad...MR Jobs....you greedy ******!!!!!

This is pathetic. I know of a school that bought iPads for an ENGLISH department. They revise papers on iPads! They don't even have keyboards for them, all touch!
I fail to see how these iPads are better than $300 netbooks with actual keyboards, especially for an English department.
Total waste of money.

mrp04 said,
...

You do realize that Apple is the only company who support the Cherokee language. I bet they'd soak up these iPads.


PS there are capacitive Stylus for iPads.

mrp04 said,
This is pathetic. I know of a school that bought iPads for an ENGLISH department. They revise papers on iPads! They don't even have keyboards for them, all touch!
I fail to see how these iPads are better than $300 netbooks with actual keyboards, especially for an English department.
Total waste of money.

That's the thing... they're NOT. The only reason why people will go out and buy this stuff is because Apple has gained some reputation since the iPod Classic days (early 2000s), and the iSheep still have a stranglehold on major press organizations like CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, etc. If American society could just open its eyes for more than 2 seconds and cut the crap for just half that time, we'd realize that we've been buying, buying, buying with no other purpose other than to claim membership status into the iClub. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Apple products like Mac OS X, but this whole iBuyBecauseAppleMadeIt thing has been driving me nuts for the past ten years.

Here's a new idea: why don't Americans just buy Apple products FOR THEIR PRODUCTS, instead of for the onstentatious, gimmicky, flashy associations made to them just because Apple pays dearly for their products to appear in movies, TV shows, and in music bands?

I had no problem when this whole thing existed only in the press and "music" industry, but when it moves to our education system (which ALREADY is on the government's chopping block due to budget problems), enough is ENOUGH.

WHAT?!?! This is a waste of money! I work apart of the school district in Philadelphia and they are closing 50 school due to the budget! This is a smack to the face!! ugh!

My niece, who is in 1st grade, absolutely LOVES my iPhone and plays educational games on it and her knowledge has benefited greatly because of it. I can't find fault with this. When I get an iPad, I can about imagine that I'll never see it when she's over.

So let me ask you this, the people that actually are complaining ... do you have children in school? And if you do, and are complaining about them needing books .. do you send your kids to some school in the ghetto? I mean, i'm sure if the school was in need of books or other supplies they wouldn't be spending the money for iPads. My kids go to the best school in the District, a science magnet academy, they're not hurting for money at all. If it is improving their education, then hell yeah ... I am all for it.

vip said,
So let me ask you this, the people that actually are complaining ... do you have children in school? And if you do, and are complaining about them needing books .. do you send your kids to some school in the ghetto? I mean, i'm sure if the school was in need of books or other supplies they wouldn't be spending the money for iPads. My kids go to the best school in the District, a science magnet academy, they're not hurting for money at all. If it is improving their education, then hell yeah ... I am all for it.

If your kid goes to the best school in the district then your kid wouldn't need a piece of digital equipment to get smarter.

vip said,
So let me ask you this, the people that actually are complaining ... do you have children in school? And if you do, and are complaining about them needing books .. do you send your kids to some school in the ghetto? I mean, i'm sure if the school was in need of books or other supplies they wouldn't be spending the money for iPads. My kids go to the best school in the District, a science magnet academy, they're not hurting for money at all. If it is improving their education, then hell yeah ... I am all for it.

see here in lies the problem. your kids school wasted a ton of district money for your kid while other kids in your school district is getting the shaft. all kids should have the right to be taught equally. for wasting this money your kids school should be stripped of any federal money that the district give to the school and be given to the other schools that don't have this privilage.

the sad thing is that they spent all this money.....but i bet the average salary for teachers in this district is less per year than a manager that runs a McDonalds.

vip said,
So let me ask you this, the people that actually are complaining ... do you have children in school? And if you do, and are complaining about them needing books .. do you send your kids to some school in the ghetto? I mean, i'm sure if the school was in need of books or other supplies they wouldn't be spending the money for iPads. My kids go to the best school in the District, a science magnet academy, they're not hurting for money at all. If it is improving their education, then hell yeah ... I am all for it.

Get an "E-Reader" not a full fledged cheating machine. People remember words when they look it up in a real dictionary than when they glance at it on a computer. You remember better when you actually use energy to get up and open a dictionary book to look for the word. So I would get e-readers because they are just for reading and learning and are not for anything else.

vip said,
So let me ask you this, the people that actually are complaining ... do you have children in school?

I don't, but I pay a good 15-25k USD of property and income taxes each year to pay for other people's crotchfruit to go to school.

I think you have some merit to your argument, but the article is about kindergarten. Kids are still eating paste at that age. You're going to get way more mileage out of $500 worth of construction paper and building blocks than an ipad.

vip said,
So let me ask you this, the people that actually are complaining ... do you have children in school? And if you do, and are complaining about them needing books .. do you send your kids to some school in the ghetto? I mean, i'm sure if the school was in need of books or other supplies they wouldn't be spending the money for iPads. My kids go to the best school in the District, a science magnet academy, they're not hurting for money at all. If it is improving their education, then hell yeah ... I am all for it.

Yes I do, and my kids are in one of the best districts in the state. There is a balance of technology and regular study offered. When I help them with their homework, I write it out to show them where the answer comes from. Technology should be a tool, not a complete replacement, and definitely not for 5 to 6 year olds. Kids in K should be learning to write.

This is amazing! I love this. it's the best form factor for tiny tykes.

And now we're raising a whole generation of consumers who demand simplicity.

dotf said,
And now we're raising a whole generation of consumers who demand simplicity.

Or perhaps a whole generation of simpletons who are demanding consumers?

The new Apple slogan should be: Don't Think, Buy it!

sask said,
"They can't be taught the old way.”

You've got to be @#$%^&* kidding me.


+1... They are going to loose their minds if the power ever goes out over an extended period of time. (like most already do)

It's sad to see the world turn into this....

sask said,
"They can't be taught the old way.”

You've got to be @#$%^&* kidding me.

I'm a Junior in high school now and wish that we were taught without computers or something closer to "the old way". Teacher's don't have the right to smack disruptive kids anymore and its pathetic how much we rely on technology that no one needed prior to its development. It would be easier to follow to be honest and it would have more of an adamant feel rather than not having all of the information given displayed in one view.

satukoro said,
I'm a Junior in high school now and wish that we were taught without computers or something closer to "the old way". Teacher's don't have the right to smack disruptive kids anymore and its pathetic how much we rely on technology that no one needed prior to its development. It would be easier to follow to be honest and it would have more of an adamant feel rather than not having all of the information given displayed in one view.

Interesting perspective, and not one that I would've expected from a student. Nice post!

sask said,
"They can't be taught the old way.”

You've got to be @#$%^&* kidding me.


The iPad is not a "Hands on" tool to learn. It is a door to cheat.

(Spork) said,
total waste of money
Why do you say that? My sons math grade has went up from a 79% to a 97% since they started using the iPads. I love it.

vip said,
Why do you say that? My sons math grade has went up from a 79% to a 97% since they started using the iPads. I love it.

and there are alot of school out there that could use that money to get some basic books and supply's!

vip said,
Why do you say that? My sons math grade has went up from a 79% to a 97% since they started using the iPads. I love it.

What a waste of tax payers money. Technology does not make one smarter, but rather more stupid.
We rely on computer to calculate our math problems, we rely on auto dial instead of remember the phone numbers, we rely on google to do our research instead of reading material and remembering what they taught us.....need I go further?
They should've spent the money on books/arts supplies/etc..

vip said,
Why do you say that? My sons math grade has went up from a 79% to a 97% since they started using the iPads. I love it.

Maybe the problems got easier? They need to justify the waste of money somehow. I don't see how an iPad is going to help you learn math?

vip said,
Why do you say that? My sons math grade has went up from a 79% to a 97% since they started using the iPads. I love it.
Unless the iPad is helping him cheat, it isn't giving him any more learning ability than a paper and pencil.

vip said,
Why do you say that? My sons math grade has went up from a 79% to a 97% since they started using the iPads. I love it.

math is a lot easier when a computer does it, that's true.

it more likely has to do with Daddy (or mommy) spending more time helping them because YOU like the iPad then the iPad itself. If you spent the time using just pencils and paper it would do the same.

lflashl said,

and there are alot of school out there that could use that money to get some basic books and supply's!

So are you suggesting that this school board take the money from people in it's district then redistribute somewhere else that needs it more?

vip said,
Why do you say that? My sons math grade has went up from a 79% to a 97% since they started using the iPads. I love it.

The iPad also lets you cheat.

vip said,
Why do you say that? My sons math grade has went up from a 79% to a 97% since they started using the iPads. I love it.

What grade are we talking? The article is about kindergarten.

My kids school has 40 iPads, they're amazing for teaching/learning on. I bought one for my house for this purpose. My kids do homework on it, practice their math sheets etc. I think it is an amazing idea for all schools to have these devices!

ahhell said,
They have this invention now. It's called paper and a pencil.

I know right. I saw my son learning about the solar system with an interactive, 3d multi-touch app and I promptly took the iPad away from him and gave him a book full of static images and dialog well past the reach of his first grade vocabulary. I'm sure that will help him learn better.

mikefarinha said,
It lightens my heart to see the readers of a tech site recognize that technology isn't the solution to every problem. :-)

Haha. Nice observation

mikefarinha said,
It lightens my heart to see the readers of a tech site recognize that technology isn't the solution to every problem. :-)

If you read the site more often you would notice that on this site any Apple product is always NOT the answer to any problem.

geoken said,

If you read the site more often you would notice that on this site any Apple product is always NOT the answer to any problem.

It's a flipsy-flopsy world over at macdailynews.com.

geoken said,

If you read the site more often you would notice that on this site any Apple product is always NOT the answer to any problem.

Even if it were an Android, Windows, any tablet, it would not be the answer. These are 5 to 6 year olds.

bj55555 said,
You're looking at $200,000 worth of iPads destroyed within 4 months.
That's good for the economy though. The faster consumer goods break, the more money gets circulated.

Beaux said,
That's good for the economy though. The faster consumer goods break, the more money gets circulated.

Right into the Chinese hands of Foxcomm....good plan.

This is really sad. I agree with all the above. There are people who can't even get a decent education because of how bad it is (see the documentary "Waiting For Superman")... and here they are wasting money on unecessary overpriced Apple products like that. The money could have definitely been better spent to enhance the quality of education. If they absolutely needed tablets, they should have waited a longer for better and definitely more affordable options.

People do not know the BASICS anymore. Case in point. Go just about anywhere, purchase something for say $4.27 and then hand them a 5, and after the attendant starts to punch it into the machine, say "oh wait, I have 3 pennies", or whatever to make it come out so you don't get back pennies or something similar,...it's funny to watch their head explode trying to figure out how much to give you back.

naap51stang said,
People do not know the BASICS anymore. Case in point. Go just about anywhere, purchase something for say $4.27 and then hand them a 5, and after the attendant starts to punch it into the machine, say "oh wait, I have 3 pennies", or whatever to make it come out so you don't get back pennies or something similar,...it's funny to watch their head explode trying to figure out how much to give you back.

I'd give you one of those 3 pennies back and say "WTF is this for? A tip?"

naap51stang said,
People do not know the BASICS anymore. Case in point. Go just about anywhere, purchase something for say $4.27 and then hand them a 5, and after the attendant starts to punch it into the machine, say "oh wait, I have 3 pennies", or whatever to make it come out so you don't get back pennies or something similar,...it's funny to watch their head explode trying to figure out how much to give you back.

If you're going to rant about people not being able to do basic math on the fly, shouldn't you do some basic math on the fly so your example makes sense? For example, giving them three pennies makes no sense, you would want to give them two pennies so they would give you back three quarters.

geoken said,

If you're going to rant about people not being able to do basic math on the fly, shouldn't you do some basic math on the fly so your example makes sense? For example, giving them three pennies makes no sense, you would want to give them two pennies so they would give you back three quarters.

To be fair they did say "three pennies or whatever."

You are correct over the two pennies but I believe the point was that introduce a random number after computer says give this much change is literally a challenge to many people, and it only seems to be getting worse.

I agree all above post, really a waste of money that could be used for the teacher or other improvements to the school.

still1 said,
waste of money... i think someone want a free ipad... may b the the principle

That's what our headteacher did xD Corrupt minds think alike :-P

still1 said,
waste of money... i think someone want a free ipad... may b the the principle

That's what our headteacher did xD Corrupt minds think alike :-P

still1 said,
waste of money... i think someone want a free ipad... may b the the principle

I agree the principle may be to get a free ipad, probably for the principal.

Joker. said,
they should pay teachers instead, they should need more motivation to teach then what they put up with

Lol. It seems like public school teachers are paid a fair amount, and still kids in the US aren't that smart.

Public schools need more competition.

Greasy said,
Waste of money.

And the future really is ****ing scary, they will not be able to use their brain anymore, a machine will do the work for them.

Greasy said,
Waste of money.

Agree, SmartBoards would have been a smarter decision... They even have SmartBoards on wheels, you could potentially get away with one per school.

Wow, someone at that school honestly isn't thinking and is letting their Apple obsession carry them away.

mrp04 said,
Wow, someone at that school honestly isn't thinking and is letting their Apple obsession carry them away.

true that. what a waste!

mrp04 said,
Wow, someone at that school honestly isn't thinking and is letting their Apple obsession carry them away.

Mad because it's not Windows tablets?

ZekeComa said,

Mad because it's not Windows tablets?

No, mad because us human's invented something called paper ages ago.

mrp04 said,
Wow, someone at that school honestly isn't thinking and is letting their Apple obsession carry them away.

Being a apple user I agree. No device can replace the paper and crayons.

ZekeComa said,

Mad because it's not Windows tablets?

No mad because how do kindergarten students treat things? Like they are in kindergarten, they will hit the screen, drop them, spill stuff on them...

schubb2003 said,

No mad because how do kindergarten students treat things? Like they are in kindergarten, they will hit the screen, drop them, spill stuff on them...

This. These gadgets won't last five minutes in the hands of a five year old without sustaining some sort of damage.

schubb2003 said,

No mad because how do kindergarten students treat things? Like they are in kindergarten, they will hit the screen, drop them, spill stuff on them...

+1 the school is stupid for trying it.

schubb2003 said,

No mad because how do kindergarten students treat things? Like they are in kindergarten, they will hit the screen, drop them, spill stuff on them...

This. What a waste of money.

mrp04 said,
Wow, someone at that school honestly isn't thinking and is letting their Apple obsession carry them away.

+1000!!
There r many places dat money could hav been used... what a waste!