Students beginning high school in St Kevin’s, Crumlin, in South Dublin, are swapping their heavy text books and school bags for iPads this fall.
Under the new system the families will pay $217 (€150), per year, for the iPad which will be preloaded with all of their text books. The students will keep the iPad for the year and do all of their homework on it.
St Kevin’s College, Crumlin ordinarily pays $29,000 ( €20,000 ) per year for their student’s books, with $5,800 (€4,000) being contributed by the children’s parents.
Blake Hodkinson, the headmaster at St Kevin’s said the iPads “will bring alive the education the students receive".
Under this new scheme, St Kevin’s and another seven schools, plan to get rid of text books within the next five years.
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Hodkinson continued “I think this is the perfect solution to the cost of schoolbooks. It brings down the cost of schoolbooks by 40pc and works out cost neutral to the school. And parents at the end of it will have children who are more employable with great IT skills.”
History and geography teacher Denise McLaughlin told the Irish Times the iPads would make her classes more realistic. She said “It’d be good for geography. If I’m trying to explain about volcanoes, they can push a button and watch one erupting on screen now.”
The students are also eager to get started. Peter Casey (12) said “The iPad is better than books, you don’t have the heavy bags and it’s easier to organize everything.”
Pamela Gleide (13) who has already been using the iPads said “It’s whopper, there’s loads of apps on it. It’s less boring than books.”
St Kevin’s is one of seven schools issuing iPads to their student. They receive all of their text book information from Edco Digital who automatically load the text books to the iPads. Teachers at these schools are already working on interactive white-boards instead of blackboards.