May 10, 2012 | Volume 42, No. 19

District trying out iPads for students

Bulky textbooks might soon be a thing of the past at the Haines School.

Sam McPhetres, technology coordinator, and assistant Margarette Jones last month handed out a dozen Apple iPads to students and staff at Mosquito Lake School. McPhetres said the “iPad rollout” would serve as a test run for the district.

“I really would like to allow for the high school and middle school students to have iPads, but first what we need to do is we need to get all the textbooks in digital form, so that we can get the textbooks on the iPad,” McPhetres said. “At this point, we’re waiting on the textbook companies, and everybody’s kind of preparing for this.”

He said the iPads retail for about $400 each and will be used on-site at Mosquito Lake. In comparison, laptops available for Haines High School students to rent cost at least twice that amount, McPhetres said.

“You can do just about everything with an iPad,” he said. “There are programs that you can buy, applications you can buy that will allow you to do digital presentations, make movies, hook it up to projectors, just like we do here in the high school with the laptops.”

McPhetres said superintendent Michael Byer has long shown interest in bringing the tablet computers to district classrooms.

“The Mosquito Lake folks were pretty amazed, because some of them had only seen the commercials on TV and had never held one in their hand, so it was a new experience for them.”” them..”themMcPhetres said.