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Maine school district buys iPad 2s for every kindergartner

updated 07:30 pm EDT, Fri April 8, 2011

Teachers saw 'remarkable' progress using iPads

Young students in Auburn, Maine will be using cutting edge technology right from the start of their school experience: the district has bought 285 iPad 2s to use for each kindergartner and teacher in the classrooms. The program will begin as a pilot project in May with a full rollout at the beginning of the next school year in the fall.

The committee that governs schools in the district voted to spend about $200,000 on the iPads, which also covers insurance, educational software aimed at the appropriate age level, training and other program costs. The program will eventually serve all six elementary schools in the small community, who's total population was around 25,000 in the 2000 census. It is believed that this is the first time in Maine that iPads have been given to a whole grade level, though the state also has a very successful Mac-dominated laptop program for older students as well.

The idea began when teachers who owned iPad noticed a significant improvement in kindergartners -- who had previously had trouble learning the alphabet -- who were exposed to educational software on the iPad. The device is seen as more portable and less expensive than laptop computers, and more appropriate for the age group's hands-on use. Officials hope to raise the literacy rates in the district from 62 to 90 percent within two years. A video of the local news report is below (Flash required).

By Electronista Staff
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  1. msuper69

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jan 2000


    This makes me proud to be a Maine-iac

    your comment

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Clarence

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Apr 2011


    Age appropriate

    Well at least it's age appropriate to give a toy to a child, never mind the cost.

  1. tightzeit

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2006


    @ Age appropriate

    What a fantastic comment. Makes you appreciate that 10 years ago no such thing was feasible, let alone possible. You can disregard Gates' versions of a tablet because they were as successful as they were useful. The answer is, not, to any degree, to any satisfaction.

    A touch device with fantastically developed software that can help autistic children learn letters, words and numbers where no other device in history has been able to is a toy? A device that can emulate the touch panel of a colour control device for use in high end colour correcting with features that just a few years ago cost tens of thousands of dollars?

    This is a toy?

    This is just two very simple examples. Go back to 'i-hate-anything-Apple' school and let the teachers know they've left a few items off the curriculum.

    I'm embarrassed that people like you have the opportunity to have access to air.

  1. SolarSaves

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2010


    FYI: iPads have not been purchased yet.

    Maine was one of the first, if not the first, state to purchase Mac portables for a couple of middle school grades. But this article is jumping the gun as the iPads have not been purchased yet, the idea was just approved by the school comittee. So you might want to update the article to say that the purchase has been approved, not completed yet...

  1. herojig

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2009



    Best of luck to those little tykes...but I hope they do also learn the arcane mystical arts of paper, glue, and scissors.

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