SchoolSt. Mary Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will be issuing 660 brand new iPads to all of its students when classes resume Aug. 26, M Live reported.


The devices will be the new Apple iPad Air, and the school board is anticipating the new tablets to be a great learning tool for teachers and students. Principal Greg Deja explained the "Learners 2 Leaders" one-on-one technology program will give students more opportunities with the devices, the source reported. Additionally, Deja said the planning and preparation for this iPad investment has been three years in the works.


"It is important that we cultivate more creative and innovative students who use their conscience as much as technology to embrace the challenges of tomorrow," said Deja, according to the source. "This initiative seeks to expand and unleash an already dynamic curriculum, as evidenced by our strong test scores and college-going culture."


Deja also said the iPads will not interrupt the "face-to-face" learning changes, but simply work as another tool to enhance the learning experience.


New student program will educate them on devices
The school will institute a Digital Citizenship program that will give students the chance to learn how to be responsible with technology and how to respect the digital media age with balance and awareness.


Jenny Biler, a principal at the school, said the district considered many different devices for its students, but the decision came down to quality and ease of use. Furthermore, Biler said the iPads were easier to use to issue electronic textbooks because every electronic book the school carries is specifically available on Apple products.


"In addition, Apple's universe of educational apps greatly expands the resources available to our teachers and students," said Biler, in an official statement. "Something as common as a graphing calculator that we require our student to purchase now at the cost of $100 comes as a free app on the iPad."


The devices are also lightweight, which makes it easier for students to carry around books and other folders for schoolwork. The battery life is strong enough to get students through the day and their two to three hours of homework each night.


The school is expecting to invest $425,000 on new technology, and $317,000 was used for iPads, M Live reported. Students will pay a $175 fee to use the device and to bring it home.