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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

RSU 14 chooses iPads for Grades 7 and 8 by Leah Hoenen

Students, staff, administrators and board members of RSU 14 gave the thumbs up to iPads for next year’s seventh and eighth grade classes.

The groups met with Apple and HP vendors in May, said board member Mike Duffy. “The overwhelmingly favored application was the iPad,” he told board members Wednesday, June 12. “Everyone in the room said the iPad is the way to go,” he said.

Duffy said the state was offering the choice of HP or Apple products.

Students will receive iPads and teachers will receive iBooks and Apple televisions for their classrooms, said Duffy.

District technology director Bob Hickey said middle schools strongly favored the intuitive interface of a tablet. He said the Apple iPad is a cheaper tablet and comes with the largest number of installed base applications for education.

“The local cost will be zero,” said Hickey. The computers are funded for four years, he said.
The high school has Dell netbook computers which are on lease for another year, said Hickey. He said that gives the district time to do research and consider what the best technology option is for the high school moving forward.

“It would be optimal to have teachers and students on the same platform,” he said.
The iPads will be in the hands of seventh and eighth graders at the start of the next school year, Hickey said.

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