The Minnetonka school board recently approved a recommendation to issue iPads to all freshmen and sophomores beginning next school year.
All 720 freshmen began using iPads in January as part of an expanded pilot program aimed at bolstering learning and helping students navigate a world defined by evolving technology. Administrators determined that student iPad use this school year resulted in fewer D's and F's and more A's and B's, particularly in math. Consequently, they recommended expanding the program to include sophomores next year. The cost of purchasing an additional 800 iPads is expected to be about $369,000 and will be paid out of the district's technology budget.
To mitigate parents' concerns that the iPads might be a distraction in the classroom, the district already has taken several steps to improve security. For example, students can't access the iTunes store and download apps. Instead, the school must approve all apps.