The Los Angeles School Board of Education has announced a new program that will see 640,000 school kids given free iPads. 31,000 of those will be given out this year, while the other 609,000 will be issued by the end of 2014. The program comes after a $31 million deal with Apple.
However, that $31 million only covers the first 31,000 devices; the board will then need to secure more funding to purchase the rest, CiteWorld reports. The program’s goal is to improve education, and provide children with new technology skills that they wouldn’t typically get at home.
“The most important thing is to try to prepare the kids for the technology they are going to face when they are going to graduate,” said Mark Hovatter, the chief facilities executive for the LAUSD.
“This is phase one, a mix of high school, middle school, and elementary students. We’re targeting kids who most likely don’t have their own computers or laptops or iPads. Their only exposure to computers now is going to be in their schools.”
Each iPad will be loaded with digital textbooks and educational apps that will help students plan and synchronize their schedules, share reference videos and news, use interactive lessons, and conduct reading tests. In turn, the LAUSD will save money on traditional paper textbooks.
Apple first announced the deal last month, then mentioned it again during its recent quarterly earnings call. The Cupertino company revealed that the program would cover 47 campuses across LA.