PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Friday, March 23, 2012

Schools Abandon Textbooks To Go All iPad

Burlington High School Principal Patrick Larkin shows off his iPad at Here & Now studios at WBUR in Boston. (Jesse Costa/Here & Now)

Apple reports schools in more than 600 districts have bought iPads for all of their students. And it’s not happening just in wealthy suburbs. Schools in urban districts like New York City and Chicago are also handing out iPads.

In the Boston area, Burlington High School launched a one-to-one iPad program in the fall, providing a tablet for each student.

It cost the school about $500,000 for the devices, and the principal, Patrick Larkin, said the school paid for them within its existing budget.

How To Pay For iPads

The school saved money by getting rid of its computer labs, abandoning plans to build a new language lab and deciding it would no longer buy new textbooks.

Larkin said they didn’t throw away the old books, but no longer need to buy new ones, since students and teachers can find everything they need online.

Larkin said the school isn’t even buying electronic versions of textbooks, since they end up costing the schools more than traditional ones in the long run.

Teacher Skepticism

Some teachers were initially skeptical of the change.

Burlington High history chair, Todd Whitten, said he was afraid the kids would spend all their time playing video games and texting friends.

But he said if teachers stay attentive, they can keep their students focused. He said if kids start getting too distracted by the iPads, he just makes sure they turn them off.

“The great thing about the iPad is you just turn it over and it’s done.” Whitten told Here & Now‘s Robin Young.

The project is just in its first year, but Larkin said so far, kids seem to be doing as well or better with the iPads.

But Burlington might not be an all iPad school forever.

Larkin said you never know what the next technology will be, and they are prepared to switch to the next best thing in the years to come.

Guests


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

From controversial new textbooks to a Maverick family reunion, here are stories from Jeremy Hobson's week in Houston and San Antonio.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

June 30 30 Comments

Chorus Helps Trans Men And Women Find Their Voice

The all-trans chorus was founded to help people learn to use their changing voices in a safe space.

June 30 122 Comments

Social Justice Activist: Slavery Never Ended, It Just Evolved

Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative recently launched an effort to mark where lynchings took place in the U.S.

June 29 12 Comments

First Known Plane Hijacking Was A Flight To Freedom

Nearly 60 years ago, a forced laborer in a Hungarian brick factory hatched a far-fetched plan to escape.

June 29 34 Comments

Paul Thurmond Explains His Change Of Heart On The Confederate Flag

The state senator is now among those calling for the flag to be removed from near the South Carolina State House.