A school in Auburn, Maine is breaking ground in its kindergarten class – giving each of its youngest students the Apple iPad 2 as a new teaching tool for reading and math.
Each student received their own iPad tablet, complete with protective carrying case, a step up from picture books and finger paints in the days of old.
While the kids embrace this new technology, parents and educational experts have mixed reactions to the project, funded by a $200,000 grant.
Some parents support their child receiving iPads, stating it can be a strong tool in making reading and math subjects more fun to learn, while others expressed opinions that the $200,000 should’ve been put toward the hiring of more teachers, and that their children could become addicted to the device and socialize less in the “real world.”
Experts shared the latter parents’ concerns, stating the more time children spend online, the more they could become isolated and not properly develop real-life social skills. However, the Auburn school district stated students cannot use iPads while unsupervised, and steps are taken to make sure youngsters are not be exposed to inappropriate content.
Teachers are continuing to encourage recess periods in order to maintain socialization skills as well as physical activity, both which can help quell “iPad addiction” concerns at an early age.
I’m all for progress in schools, providing that it actually does help its children learn the basic skills needed to function in life (specifically, the good old “reading, writing, and arithmetic”), especially with funding for schools being cut in many US states (including Pennsylvania, which took a hard hit). Too bad the iPad wasn’t around in my day – I think I would’ve had a lot more fun learning long division.