Tennessee school makes iPads mandatory

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child using iPad

The appropriately-named Webb School, a private school in Knoxville, Tennessee, is requiring that all fourth through twelfth grade students have an iPad for classes, beginning next year. Webb School is hoping to eventually replace all textbooks with iPad-based learning solutions. Students unable to afford the tablet computer, whose low-end model runs five hundred dollars, will be able to lease one from the school for two hundred dollars per year. According to Webb School's tech director Jim Manikas, the transition from books to iPad is a student-health issue. "We have some students carrying fifty to sixty pounds of books and the iPad weighs just a pound and a half," he said. Manikas also stressed that the school would ease the financial burden for those leasing the devices. "We're going to make that as easy as possible. We'll offer a lease, a three-year lease for that. In essence, you're talking about two hundred dollars a year, paid over a ten-month school year. You're talking about twenty dollars a month."

Elli Shellist, an English teacher at the school, was jazzed by the possibilities the new-school style of learning afforded. "Once I explored it, I was really excited, because there are things we can do better on this than we can on a paper text," she stated. Kids expecting to sneak some time on Facebook and Twitter will be disappointed though. School officials say those websites will be blocked on campus. Brave new world, right?