Educational authorities in Auburn, Maine have decided to introduce the latest Apple iPad 2 as a learning tool for children as young as five.
If the pilot scheme, voted for unanimously by the Auburn School committee, proves to be a success, this could bring some groundbreaking changes to the education sector. Apple has agreed to offer iPad 2 devices at a discounted rate.
Under the programme, which is starting with the next kindergarten year group, every public school child in the district will be able to take the tablet PC home as well, making it an inseparable tool for learning. This much publicised move by the Auburn School committee is aimed at making the children digitally more literate from an early age.
Schools district superintendent Tom Morrill, claimed in an interview with CNN (opens in new tab) that the iPad was even "more important than a book".
The decision by the Auburn School committee to go high-tech has certainly been greeted with a mixed response so far. Many parents are not happy about the move questioning the financial aspect as well as its practicality.
"It's crazy, I look at all of the budgetary restraints we have. Our school system loses money every year to certain things. This is a lot to put in the hands of a 5-year-old." Nicole Fortin, an Auburn school parent argued.
The project will demand an estimated budget of $200,000 initially. With a shortage of funds, authorities are now planning to bring more money from grants and donations, sources have claimed.