ST PETER —
The iPads are also versatile. They serve as e-readers, creation and communication devices, research tools, cameras and recording devices.
“It’s not so much a tool as much as it is a toolbox,” Lustig said.
Not so far into the future, Lustig thinks the devices could also replace backpacks full of textbooks.
“The tablet model seems to be the direction textbook companies are moving toward,” he said.
In four years there will be 2,000 iPads in use by students in St. Peter. The ninth-grade students will be taking the iPads home, but Lustig said he believes there will be fewer instances of damage and neglect under that more personalized model.
“There’s actually more ownership on the part of the student when it’s their device,” he said. “They take better care of it.”
The students issued devices will be able to use the iPads for some personal accounts, such as email, Twitter and Facebook, as long as the usage follows the district policy for appropriate usage, Lustig said. In the summers, he said the devices will likely be returned to the district for maintenance and upgrades.
The $175,000 initiative this first year is for 400 iPads and carts, which will be financed through a local lender. Lustig said there is no plan to seek a technology referendum, but rather in future years to work the costs into the district budget.