School-going children of two schools in the city-state of Singapore are now relieved of carrying satchels full of textbooks and notes to their school as they have been given Apple’s iPads as part of a pilot project, Reuters reported.
School children can now connect to the Internet using the tablet and download books and course material even as they can now take down notes on the iPad, and use worksheets.
A secondary school in Singapore, where the youngest students are aged 12, has spent S$135,000 ($100,000) to buy 150 iPads for 140 students and 10 teachers as part of this project.
“It's much more convenient. Teachers can just tell us to go a website, and we can immediately go and do our work,” 14-year-old Chloe Chen sitting in a classroom with her iPad in front of her was quoted as saying.
The iPad was chosen as it complemented a new method of teaching which entailed giving more freedom to students for self-learning as against the earlier practice of relying solely on the teacher in traditional classrooms, said Seah Hui Yong, dean of curriculum at Nanyang Girls School, a secondary school in Singapore.
“It's not so much about the iPad. If you talk to the girls you will realize that they practically don't need training. I think if anything, the joke is the teachers are probably taking a little bit longer time in getting used to it,” Yong was quoted as saying, adding that the school could switch to another device if some other better one comes along.
Schools are also ensuring that safeguards are being put in place. “There will be some concerns - making sure that the girls are going to appropriate websites, also making sure that the girls don't get addicted to the device and use it too much, said Mark Shone, Physics and Information Technology teacher.
Tampines Secondary School in Singapore is using the tablet, while teachers at Nanhua Primary School and Dunman Secondary School will use iPads in project work in the future, a teacher said.
Last year, talk show host and billionaire Oprah Winfrey gave staff at her magazine an iPad and a check for $10,000 each.