Education News

McAllen Launches District-Wide iPad Program

McAllen Launches District-Wide iPad Program

Transforming learning. That’s what one school district in South Texas hopes to accomplish with its new technology-driven program.

McAllen Independent School District began distributing iPad tablets and some iPod Touches to about 6,000 students in an attempt to close the digital divide. According to district officials, the goal is to have all 25,000 students in K-12 have access to an iPad tablet by this time next year.

The 20.5 million investment is the largest in Texas and possible the largest in the nation. Superintendent James Ponce believes the new technology is just what the district needs to provide  its students with a rich, interactive classroom culture. Most of the students have never had access to this type of technology before, so now the entire family can make use of the mobile device.

The teachers are just as excited about incorporating the new technology into their lessons. Stacey Banks, a social studies teacher at McAllen Memorial High School supports the new technology.

“It’s given us a great opportunity to hone our skills as teachers and change our paradigm a little bit about what our classrooms look like and how we approach learning,” Banks said of the iPads program. “That excitement has definitely migrated to the kids.”

This kind of program is so new that data isn’t available yet to measure successes and outcomes. For now, the iPads continue to circulate and generate excitement around the school district.

Read more about this story at Edweek.org.

Photo Courtesy: Nathan Lambrecht/The Monitor/AP
New iPad 2 screens glow as Joseph Cantu, 15, bottom right, looks over his device with fellow students in a geometry class at McAllen Memorial High School on Feb. 27 in McAllen, Texas.