While many schools around the nation have adopted and maintained a one to one ratio of laptops to students, very few have moved to tablets like the iPad. As part of a pilot program, Roslyn High School in Long Island, New York is testing the iPad as a replacement for text books, according to the New York Times.
For now, they have purchased and deployed 47 iPads to students in two humanities classes. They are to use the iPad at school and home for the school year as an educational tool and a replacement for textbooks in the classroom. Assuming the pilot program is successful, they plan to give all 1100 students in the district an iPad to use during the school year. The school paid $750 per iPad so the project is a very expensive endeavor.
Larry Reiff, an English teacher at Roslyn High School, says that he posts all his class materials online and that the iPad helps to break down the four walls of the classroom. He went on to say that he believes the program will lead to a higher rate of students actually completing their homework. They wont have any excuse to not get an assignment done because the materials are available where ever they are, assuming they have access to the internet.
Researchers are questioning the use of iPads in the classroom as they say there is very little evidence machines such as the iPad offer any advantage over a traditional lecture with pen, paper and a book. Some are also questioning whether the iPad is the best choice with many other lower cost tablets available as well.