Forrestville Valley (Fla.) School District Gives Students Free iPads

Courtney Williams's picture
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A sea of iPads were swarming through the bleacher's at Forreston High School on Monday.  The school district gave the iPad 2 to five hundred students, from sixth through 12th grade.

Students immediately immersed themselves in the new technology. "I'm feeling a step up, I'm not used to technology so it makes me feel a step higher" says Hanna Kasten, senior at Forreston HS.The superintendent says it gives the rural community an edge.

"(With the iPad), they can (explore) anything they want ... world wide and make them as competitive as anyone from China, India, New York or Chicago," says Lowell Taylor, Superintendent of Forrestville Valley School District.

When the school year ends students return the iPads, but the for the rest of the year they're all theirs. "Students get (the iPad) issued in the Fall, keep them all year long, then turn them back in the summer for repair or review.  Students keep them for three years," says Taylor. Teachers plan to use the high-tech device to connect outside the classroom.

"I think it will be more open, not closed wall.  I'm hoping to integrate it with other schools that have 'Face Time' or 'Skype'," says Radina Brobst, Forreston HS teacher.

"Were already looking up information for a speech class, so it's really cool," says Kate Paul, senior at Forreston HS.

The total cost of outfitting the entire school with iPads cost $200,000 dollars, but well worth it for the district if it gives students a new view of learning.

"It's a rare thing for students to be excited to come to school.  It's rare thing for teachers to be excited to teach, and when they're focused on learning and teaching, the place is going to get better," says Taylor.

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