The Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 in Illinois has approved the expansion of their iPad program for students. Between 6,000 and 7,000 students in the district will receive their own fourth-generation iPad to use next school year.
Officials decided this week to expand the district’s experimental one-on-one program, which put iPad 2s in the hands of 1,500 students last fall, after reviewing the positive impacts iPads are having on instructors and students.
Using the iPads in the District has resulted in better organization, instant feedback, savings in paper and class time and more engaged classrooms, say the teachers who are leading the program.
“We believe the one-to-one program is changing our teachers, it’s changing our instruction, and most importantly it’s changing the way in which students interact with their world,” said Daniel Cates, associate superintendent for administrative services.
District officials are considering an expansion of the program that would include every student by the 2014-2015 school year.
About 50% of the district’s students will be equipped with an iPad after implementation of the expansion.
The cost will be covered by the district’s projected $2.75 million technology budget for next school year, which includes $660,000 from the early release of tax revenues from a Palatine tax increment financing district.
Three teachers who currently use the iPad in their classrooms made a presentation about their effectiveness to the school board on Thursday. They admitted to a learning curve at first, but the consensus was that the devices are “doing wonders” for the students, particularly challenged learners.
Cates said the district is still waiting on teacher readiness before the program is expanded to the whole district.