Maine district puts iPads in kindergarten

April 14, 2011 at 10:16 PM

LEWISTON, Maine, April 14 (UPI) -- Five kindergarten teachers in Auburn, Maine, will oversee a pilot program using iPads in their classrooms starting next month, school officials said.

Auburn Superintendent Tom Morrill said his is the first school department in Maine planning to give iPads to all kindergarten students this fall, in an effort to boost learning, the Lewiston Sun Journal reported Wednesday.

"What it's about is young people having in their hands a tool that will customize and accelerate their learning," Morrill said.

The Auburn School Department will buy 100 iPads in May for 80 students and 20 teachers and will purchase another 225 in the fall so all 285 kindergarten students and dozens of teachers will have them, he said.

Officials said they hope to pay for the $200,000 purchase with grant funds, but will use funds from the school budget if they fail to get grants.

Morrill said he had received feedback from Auburn taxpayers both for and against the iPad rollout.

Youngsters would not be able to use the iPads without supervision, and steps would be taken to guarantee students will be safe and won't be exposed to anything inappropriate.

"We'll make sure 100 percent in classrooms we'll have control of what's going on," he said.

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