Another major school district in the U.S. is using iPads in the classroom. According to the Star Tribune, the St. Paul School District in Minnesota has plans to institute a new iPad initiative this fall, which will be the largest mobile device program ever for the state school system. Each iPad will come with a label on the back that makes it clear how the people of Minnesota have a venture in the new technology upgrade.
The label reads, "Provided by taxpayers of St. Paul for students of St. Paul public schools," which is just a small way to thank the citizens for helping invest in the new devices for the area's students, the source cited.
It was only 90 days ago when the St. Paul School District was battling with the state on how to best roll out new technology that could immediately benefit students' needs for learning. The new decision was made and eventually lead to the state giving out iPads to roughly 40,000 students in the district.
iPad launch decided late in the off-year
With the short amount of time to make the significant change before the school year, district officials rushed to get the iPads to at least 37 schools. The new initiative is set to work with students, teachers, and administrators on training sessions. According to the source, there was a recent training session held for all parties at the Washington Technology Magnet School that addressed the benefits and challenges that would come with the mobile devices.
The iPad implementation had a surprisingly positive effect on the teachers. The majority of them have admitted the devices will help them with one-on-one use and educational purposes, the source said.
Superintendent Valeria Silva explained the 2014 to 2015 school year will be a great time for exploration, to see how the devices will work in the classroom and to answer questions about the risk of the devices for the future, the Star Tribune reported.
New apps for the classroom
The St. Paul Public Schools' official website noted a list of several apps that will be used in the classroom for the upcoming school year. Many of the apps used will be free for both students and teachers and bring the most up-to-date texts to the students. The school plans to use apps such as Overdrive, which provides audiobooks and streaming videos from texts and allows users to manage a library of books and other documents.
With a large number of devices handed out at the school, administrators should consider personal iPad insurance for these devices, so the district can see a strong return on investment by not having to give additional money to cover repairs and lost tablets.