School system allocates $10 million to put iPads in classrooms

School system allocates $10 million to put iPads in classrooms

Summary: Between the $100 price drop of the iPad 2 and the CMS school system's new $10 million iPad grant, could nationwide adoption of iPads in the classroom soon become a reality?


Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) in North Carolina has allocated $10 million towards a grant-based program that will put iPads in selected classrooms and appropriate the necessary training for how to use them.

Dubbed the "Innovation for Transformation Grant Application 2012," teachers must submit applications by 5:00 PM on 3/30/12 for their classrooms to be considered. Then, in May, the winning classrooms will be selected and awarded with the following:

1 teacher iPad Up to 10 student iPads iPad cases 1 wireless keyboard 1 VGA cable 1 charging/storage tray 1 iTunes App Voucher

In the official letter distributed to teachers by CMS, the intention of the program is spelled-out clearly:

Today’s students must be able to use technology to analyze, learn, and explore. Today’s teachers must use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments. In order for the learning environments of today to effectively meet the needs of the 21st century digital learner, a transformation must occur. The 2012 Innovation for Transformation Grant provides an opportunity for PLCs (Professional Learning Communities) in CMS to embark on a transformational journey filled with innovative professional development, digital resources, and effective student engagement.

Though it isn't clear which specific iPad models will be provided to the classrooms, if a school system were to ever consider widespread classroom adoption of iPads, the timing couldn't be more appropriate now that Apple has dropped the prices of their iPad 2 models by $100 after recently announcing the iPad 3.

Will the combination of Apple's iPad 2 price drop and CMS's grant begin a feasible trend of classroom iPad adoption? Apple wouldn't scoff at the idea, that's for sure.

What are your thoughts on this grant? Do you think a much cheaper tablet device should have been selected to reward recipients with, or do you think a motion for iPad adoption was the right call? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

-Stephen Chapman

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Topics: Enterprise Software, Apple, Hardware, iPad, Laptops, Mobility, Software, Tablets

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  • If the model is iPad 2, then with educational prices it will cost less ...

    ... than $399. Apple makes discounts for education.

    So this might work very well, indeed.
  • Awesome!

    This is awesome!
  • Another publicly funded Apple intrusion

    Apple gets to lock in a program to their proprietary "walled garden" at public expense without the inconvenience of a bidding process.
    And if you don't think Apple's sales department was involved from the get-go, think again.
    If this is the way school systems spend money in the USA, its no wonder they're struggling.
    Parents should be outraged.
    • Nothing wrong with a Walled Garden. The one's I've seem were

      well organized and well kept. Do you know there was not bidding process? I'm sure based on what I know about school systems there were sales teams for Dell, HP, Apple..etc involved in this thing/decision making process. Everyone wants money after all and sales are key to that.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • Lets not leave out Amazon in that bidding...

        Amazon and all the other "public" companies that are currently trying to get Kindles and other computing devices in schools should be ashamed! ASHAMED! :-)
  • Wrist strain (RSI) lawsuits, here we come

    My children already complain about how heavy the iPads are at school. The new ones are even heavier.

    Why don't we demand technology reviews and a fair bidding process in our public institutions? The BlackBerry PlayBook at $199 is a far, far better value, and weighs 50% less.
    • And a backpack full of text books is better for the back how?

      As for wrist strain I remember the average text book in my day was fairly heavy as well and I tend to doubt the validity of any suit that might or might not be entered upon. As for the playbook well the school has to make decisions based on what "tech" and or tech company maybe around in the future and compared to Apple RIM looks like a dead man walking. They may pull out of their decline but it's certainly not a sure thing as of now. So no the playbook based on that criteria lone is not an option but also Applications available at time of decision making would count as well I would think especially educational programs.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • Lol!

        Good point.
      • Well if today's children actually got some EXERCISE...

        ...rather than sitting in front of some electronic device all day...maybe the little darling's backs would be strong enough to CARRY a backpack full of textbooks.
    • Don't forget the iStrain

      I wonder who wants their kids' developing eyes staring at glowing LCD screen continuously 8 hours a day, just like their parents.

      Maybe some tough love is in order?
  • I think there are many other things

    That schools should be spending money on first instead of putting 10 iPads in a 25 - 30 student classroom. School music, art and sports programs are way underfunded and being eliminated in some cases. I don't think that the people that push these programs are really in touch with what schools really need. My son would much rather have more funding for other school programs rather than sharing an iPad once in a while. This is just a program being pushed through so someone can say "look what I did".
    • Yeah like the music teacher and or football coach

      Is beyond saying "Look what I did". :)

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
  • 1 teacher iPad, Up to 10 student iPads

    so that up to 10 students in a classroom will not left behind.
    • I assume like lab computers in the past equal time

      will be allocated.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
  • School in German Valley purchases iPads for students use.

    Last year, at the start of the 2011-2012 school year every student in the German Valley school district received an IPad2. These are the property of the school district. K-8 students have access to their assign iPad during classroom time only, while the high school students are allowed to take them home. They don't seem to have the money problems other districts are facing.?????
  • Bad move. They should have waited until the W8 tablets come out in the fall

    There will be lots of competition driving margins down. And the whole apple etextbook thing is a horrible cruelty that needs to be avoided even if they have ipads so there's no benefit.
    Johnny Vegas
    • You only made one valid point...

      there will be fierce competition between Android and Windows 8 tablets and it will drive profit margins down as well as quality support and over all build quality to make up the difference from lost revenue. Oh and by the way Apple so won't be playing that game:)

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn