Many newspapers have had donation programs in the past where subscribers who go on vacation can donate their papers to schools. Once in the schools, the papers were used by students either for reading assignments or for art projects in which younger students cut out photos. The Boston Globe is taking the idea into the future by using reader vacation funds from its Newspaper In Education program to buy iPads and classroom projectors for schools.
With US$65,000 in funds supplied by vacationing subscribers, the Globe is buying 75 iPads for Boston Public Schools and Stoneham High School. Those iPads will be equipped with digital subscriptions to BostonGlobe.com. Globe director of customer experience and innovation Robert Saurer says that "We believe that digital kids turn into digital adults ... We want to provide easy, portable access not only to our content, but to the greater world of content on the web -- deployed in the classroom daily, streamed live, as the kids are learning."
A pilot program will run through the spring semester and will be evaluated by teacher focus groups to determine if more iPads or an increased number of projectors are a better option going into the future.