A US High School is buying 320 iPads for its students and teachers. Gibbon Fairfax Winthrop (GFW) High School in Minnesota is said to be the first high school to have the iPad.
The school district allocated $267,748 to its technology fund to become what is believed to be the first school in the country to have the devices at a cost of $479 each.
The money will be used to buy 320 iPads with extended, two-year warranties for students and staff, create Wi-Fi (wireless) infrastructure including routers and access points plus professional development (staff training).
An article in The Journal quotes students as well as the school’s principal showing enthusiasm for many uses for the iPad. It also points out some way the school hopes it may help students save money – on textbooks and ‘S100 calculators’ for example.
The school sounds like it has ambitious plans for the iPad – including getting all 320 units before the end of the current school year, distributing iPads to teachers this spring, and even summer staff development workshops to decide how the iPads will be integrated into classroom curriculums.
I had to chuckle when I saw this one cautionary line:
Concerns include the ability of Apple (or any other authority that can persuade Apple) to remotely disable or delete apps, media, or data on the iPad at will.
Here’s hoping Apple does not have any crazy, sudden changes of course (as they have occasionally been known to have) where they remove an existing app that is used by a school, from the App Store.
I think this is a good move by this school. The iPad should be a hit in many educational institutions and I know I’d love to see it adopted in my daughter’s school.
For lost more detail on this, check out Fritz Busch’s story here: