This week brings good news and bad news in terms of the iPad’s adoption in US educational institutions. Earlier this week it was reported – by The Verge and others – that the massive iPad rollout in the Los Angeles School District has been suspended, with rumors saying they’ll end up being replaced by Chromebooks and similar devices.
Meanwhile, the St. Paul School District in Minnesota is set for an iPad rollout that is said to be the largest ever for a state school system. It will bring 40,000 iPads on a one-to-one basis to students within the school district.
The approach to how the iPads will be used in classrooms in St. Paul sounds a little more freeform than some other deployments, as the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. I like the quote they use from Craig Anderson, principal of Hamline Elementary in St. Paul – which rolled out iPads to all its students in grades 2 to 5 last year:
… But the point, according to proponents such as Anderson, is to have the devices in students’ hands so they can create and, hopefully, innovate.
Anderson, who likens the iPad to a pencil, warns of the danger of “overplanning” and limiting how far teachers and students can take it.
“As educators, we have the luxury of whether to use the tool or not,” he said. “But kids are not going to have the option of living in a world that doesn’t use technology.”