School system allocates $10 million to put iPads in classrooms

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?
Written by Stephen Chapman, Contributor

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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