Several private schools in Australia are informing parents that they will be requiring students to own an iPad by the next school year. Educators believe the move from textbook to tablet is important as tablets allow for more effective and interactive learning, and also eliminate the need for kids to carry around heavy books.
St. Andrew’s Cathedral School in central Sydney requires iPads for years 7-10, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. While this adds an extra $600 to the cost of schooling, as e-book textbooks become more available, the savings from not buying textbooks will be able to offset the cost.
A number of private schools in Sydney have been moving to tablets or other touchscreen computers and believe that these are more effective learning tools than laptops. Eliminating the need for textbooks will be better for kids’ backs and save valuable learning time without students having to go to their lockers to change textbooks.
While most parents seem on board with getting iPads for school, some are concerned about their kids’ “Internet addiction” and the possibility of losing it. John Collier, head of St. Andrews, says parents and teachers will have to be extra vigilant and advised parents to look into insurance policies.
With iPads, learning is much more mobile. If a student is sick, FaceTime is a great tool for that student to still see and hear what is going on in class. The added cost doesn’t seem to bother parents of these private school students once they see how much more fun learning can be.
To those that are skeptical of this transition, Collier said, “This is the way kids communicate with the world. It would be folly to live in denial.”