That headline is as unbelievable as it sounds. But seriously, a public school district in Auburn, Maine in the cold, culturally and technologically barren state of Maine from which I hail, is giving all 285 students of its Kindergarden class a brand new iPad 2. Tell me that doesn't make you feel better as a parent if your child is a spring baby. Damn. Like, 3G enabled and everything? Do these kids even have iTunes accounts? What happens if they drop like 3k on Smurfberries?
Evidently Auburn school district, frankly, does not give a damn as they voted to budget $200,000 on the iPad 2 initiative, including insurance, cover, educational software and technical training. And the kindergarden teachers get them too. Eventually, the program plans to be expanded to include all six elementary schools in the district (right now it's just at Washburn Elementary). The idea was proposed by kindergarden teachers that noticed how useful the original iPad became in helping children having trouble with the alphabet.
Exsqueeze me? They haven't legalized marijuana in Maine while I've been gone have they? They're having trouble with the alphabet so you buy them a @#%ing $499 device? When I was a kid we had anthropomorphized Letters that taught us with VHS TAPES how to, you know, use them. WTF is going on in Maine? I mean, I know we had a lot of "failing" public schools guys, but maybe that has to do with drug use, poverty, lack of motivation, mundane higher education institutions and a shitty economy, not the lack of access to extremely expensive and complex post-pc @#$%ing devices!
And also, aren't they going to be a little bit pissed off when they graduate kindergarden and have to go back to painfully inadequate textbooks and readers? "So now that you know how to use an iPad 2, check out this shitty "advanced" book about bunnies looking for integrity." Yeah, that should work wonders for them.
Honestly though, good for them. It might have its issues, but this is probably overall a good investment. Like when my old school in North Carolina decided they were going to implement Palm tech in syllabi and coursework. Three months later we all had really expensive paperweights.