South Shore school plans iPads for every student
Parents offered monthly plan to purchase devices for children
Officials with the South Shore Regional School Board are hoping to create a first in Nova Scotia later this year with a plan to put an iPad in the hands of every student at the new South Queens Junior High School in Liverpool.
Jeff DeWolfe, the director of programs and student services for the South Shore Regional School Board, said the iPads can teach students the skills needed for life and work.
"Collaboration, creative thinking, communication both oral and written, multimedia communication, critical thinking, things like that," he said.
The South Shore Regional School Board doesn't have the money to buy 350 iPads. An iPad 4 costs approximately $570 with an education discount and taxes, while an iPad Mini costs approximately $370.
Parents at the school have been offered a monthly payment plan to purchase the iPads for their children. For those who can't afford it, local businesses have offered to purchase them.
Parents at South Queens Junior High School have until the end of April to decide if they support the plan for iPads. If they do, the school will be the first in the province to ensure every student has one.
Despite concerns about ever-increasing screen time for students, at least one parent said she thought iPads would help teach children about the dangers of cyberbullying.
"I think this is another way to teach the kids as they are learning what's appropriate and what's not," said Margo Walsh-Leaman, whose daughter will be attending South Queens Junior High School when it opens in September.
Leo Campbell, who will be the principal of the school, said children deserve to be educated this way.
"They don't make encyclopedias anymore. That's an encyclopedia in a child's hands," he said.
"There's more to education than sitting in a classroom. They have to experience how they're learning because it sinks in. The engagement with the iPad is huge. It's through the roof."