Mass. Schools Eager to Launch iPad Era of Learning

Courtney Williams's picture
Friday, February 24, 2012

Students at Catholic high schools in Brockton and Braintree, and others in grades 7 through 12 in Kingston, will start the next school year with iPads instead of papers and books in their backpacks, part of a growing number of schools looking to trade traditional learning tools for the latest technology.

Not far behind Cardinal Spellman in Brockton, Archbishop Williams in Braintree, and Sacred Heart in Kingston are public school counterparts in Brockton as well as Cohasset and Sharon that are test-driving Apple tablets and their Windows competitors, or are leaning toward doing so.

For Cardinal Spellman junior Brian Barry, 16, the change is a welcome one, just in time for his college search and his dream of studying criminal justice.

“I think it’s a great idea,’’ said Barry, of Brockton. “Our society is becoming more electronic. No more folders with papers flying everywhere.’’

He and almost 700 other Spellman students will each be charged a $125 annual technology fee for their iPads as part of a lease/purchase program to keep it affordable, said Spellman president John McEwan. Parents will pick up the cost of e-books as they become available, he said.

Similarly, students and teachers at Archbishop Williams will be able to buy or lease iPads through a cost-effective deal with Apple Inc., or even bring in their own, said school president Carmen Mariano. Students will use the touch-screen devices for research, homework, and interactive learning both in and out of the classroom, officials said.

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