From new iPads to MacBook laptops, Eden Prairie schools are beginning an extensive technology initiative this month that will be rolled out over the next four years.

For the first part of the $1.5 million-a-year iLearn@EP initiative, the district will give iPads to some seventh- and eighth-graders at the middle school.

They'll pilot the new technology before the entire middle school gets the iPads in late January or early February.

"The use of these devices by students and teachers can transform the learning process in significant ways," Superintendent Curt Tryggestad said in a statement.

Next school year, every ninth- through 12th-grader will receive a MacBook Air laptop. And in the 2014-15 school year, fourth-graders through six-graders will also get one of the devices, to be determined then.

By the 2015-16 year, the new technology will be in all grades, expanded to early childhood through third grade.

The district says over time, the money for the devices and related costs will come from reallocating portions of the textbook budget and technology levy.