The Auburn School committee has decided to pilot test the use of the latest Apple iPad2 as a tool for learning for kindergarteners in Maine School district. Children will soon be digitally literate as well, in fact more literate than their parents. There will be many who might be envying these kids for possessing the tablet that is not even available in the stores.
Kids will be allowed to carry it home as part of the orientation program for the stakeholders. Parents are aghast at this decision. It's crazy, said Auburn school parent Nicole Fortin. I look at all of the budgetary restraints we have. Our school system loses money every year to certain things. This is a lot to put in the hands of a 5-year-old.
But there are certain questions that really have to be pondered upon. Kids are supposed to play outdoors. Will this new idea take away all their time and confine them to a room? This was already a problem when computers started manifesting the households. Kids spend most of their time playing games and browsing internet.
For a school this is a marketing strategy to attract students. Using iPad2 for kindergarten will give them an edge over the others, even adults. What it's really all about is a game changer, said school superintendent Tom Morrill, speaking to the school committee. This is truly redefining how we're going to teach and learn. We're talking about a new tool, the iPad2. You begin to watch how young people jump on, jump in and figure this thing out. It has great potential for leveling the playing field for all students.
When asked how to prevent damage of the device because small kids will be handling it, Morrill answered that the iPad is smaller in size and is light. This itself makes it damage proof to an extent. Each iPad will have a protective case. Morrill believes that if the kids are told that they are handling with something that is really special they will use it carefully.
The school district will need $200,000 for outing this scheme into action. There is a shortage of funds but Morrill plans to generate funds from grants and donations.