Champaign high school to require iPad use

All students at West Liberty-Salem High School will receive iPads at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year.

The program is intended to streamline the learning process for students, West Liberty-Salem Superintendent Kraig Hissong said.

The tablets allow for the use of digital textbooks, he said, and make it easier for students to start work at school and finish it at home.

“iPads are very cost effective,” West Liberty-Salem Technology Director Richard Johnson said. “They have a very long life; battery life was great.”

Many juniors and seniors already use their own iPads in school, Johnson said, but the new program will expand the program to freshmen and sophomores.

“It’s actually training kids when they leave here how a college environment will be,” he said.

The school district will now provide the iPads, he said, and students will lease them for the year. Because the tablets will be owned by the school, the district has more control over guaranteeing they are used for educational purposes.

“It’s a little easier for us to control and push more apps out to the children,” he said.

Students can lease an iPad for $75 a year, he said, and will have the option to purchase it for $1 after four years. Aid will be available to students who need assistance to cover the cost of the tablet, he said.

Students also have the option to check out an iPad from the library every day instead of a lease. iPads that are damaged or misplaced will be repaired or replaced by the school, Johnson said, as long as it is an accident.

Students who have used iPads as juniors and seniors said the technology improves organization.

“Sometimes it’s hard to keep all of your work sheets and papers that you get,” rising senior Ashley Rabenstein said.

The iPad also helps with note taking, she said, “it’s much quicker to type.”

And sophomores like Addy Johnson said they look forward to not having to carry around as many books.

“Textbooks is the big thing,” she said. “Because it’s pretty annoying to have to carry textbooks home and to all your classes.”

West Liberty-Salem schools will spend nearly $40,000 on the iPad program over four years.

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