Area school district purchasing iPads for high school students

Area school district purchasing iPads for high school students

STINNETT, Texas - One school district is making a large investment to take education one step further next school year.

High school students attending classes in Plemons-Stinnett-Phillips ISD will now have a much lighter load to carry around in their backpacks in August.

At $500 a piece, purchasing 200 iPads to distribute among students may not sound economical.

It's a topic Superintendent Bill Wiggins understands from a parents perspective.

"I'm not comfortable saying that this is going to save the school district a whole lot of money," he said.

However, Wiggins says parents and faculty should look at the purchase as long-term.

"The cost of electronic textbooks is considerably less than what a hard back book would cost," Wiggins said.

Each student has about 5 textbooks checked out to them every semester.

The cost of those books can run into the triple digits.

Unlike paper books which have to be thrown out and updated every few years, E-books can be updated via an application.

"There are applications available on the iPad which allow students to write stories and do digital storytelling," AISD's Director of Instructional Technology Chuck Higley said.

In addition, iPads are considered to be eco-friendly.

"A paperless environment is possible with these," Higley said. "With tools like drop box, students will be able to submit assignments to teachers in that fashion or use email."

Amarillo ISD currently has a class set of iPads available for check out.

Other districts across the state of Texas are also considering tablet purchases for future use.