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The School District of Lee County in Florida is in the midst of one of the largest education Chromebook implementations in the country, distributing some 18,000 devices along with Google Apps accounts to all students in grades 6-8, in part to meet state mandates that all Florida students use exclusively digital instructional materials by the 2015-2016 school year.


Administrators at Barrington Community Unit 220 School District (Ill.) realized they had a critical need for better organization and proper tracking of educational resources—including textbooks, tablets, STEM devices and special education equipment—a few years ago. The need grew as they began to implement a 1-to-1 program and the district was flooded with even more resources to manage.


The right mix of tablets, applications and activities can enable new levels of personalized, mobile learning, particularly at the early elementary level. At the Challenge to Excellence Charter School (C2E) in Parker, Colorado, educators are using tablets and Google tools in surprising ways to foster creativity, collaboration and content creation in grades K-3, while also establishing a foundation of knowledge-seeking skills that students will use in later grades.


The need for a secure and protected digital learning environment in districts is paramount, but online testing raises serious security concerns. While conducting large-scale online testing requires advanced coordination that is both time consuming and complex, using iPads can save time and simplify the process, so teachers, students, and administrators can focus on teaching and learning, and being better prepared for online exams.

In the move to 1:1 computing, school district leaders are increasingly looking for alternatives to traditional PCs and laptops, and for many districts, the go-to device is the iPad. But now, for a growing roster of Apple competitors, the time has come to give the iPad a run for its money.

As tablet integration becomes increasingly prominent in U.S. classrooms, administrators face challenges preparing district infrastructures, teachers, students and parents for a shift to digital learning.

Here are some tips from two district leaders who have successfully undergone the change to those considering a move to tablets.

Glastonbury (Conn.) Public Schools is the latest district to roll out a plan to provide iPads to its 2,200 high school students—and it is only the first step to significantly reduce textbook costs and focus on providing a 21st-century learning environment for its students.

A Griegos Elementary School student in Albuquerque uses an iPad in the library, which has a portable cart of about 30 iPads—known as Computers on Wheels.

For years, there’s been an ongoing discussion about the digital divide between the “haves” and the “have nots.” As technology has advanced, so has that gap, which is driving fundamental changes in how we work, learn, and live.

Administrators, educators, and nonprofit entities nationwide have been trying to lessen that gap over the past decade. With newer, lighter technologies like tablets and ultra-light laptops like the MacBook Air, some schools are considering getting rid of textbooks altogether and going digital.

Keene, N.H., is a small New England town best known as home to Keene State College, Antioch College of New England, and a Guinness world record-setting fall pumpkin festival for the most-lit jack-o-lanterns in one place.

But Keene School District SAU 29 wants to be known for its own accolades—top-tier technology—and it’s trying to achieve that by replacing teachers’ desktop computers with iPads and piloting them as replacement textbooks in some classes as Keene explores digital instruction, and moves toward the “electronic book bag” experts say is on the horizon.