In a move that just assured kids everywhere will view Auburn, Maine's kindergartens as the coolest in the country, the local school board there has purchased iPad 2s for every kindergartner in the district. At a total cost of $200,000, including 285 iPad 2s, insurance for the devices and educational software, the Auburn program will begin as a pilot this May, with a complete rollout expected in September.
The idea came to the local school board after teachers noticed an improvement in schoolchildren who used educational software on the iPad to learn the alphabet. Auburn's board hopes the iPads, which are cheaper than buying the kindergartners laptops, will help raise the literacy rate over a number of years. Interestingly, though probably unrelated, Apple's first iPad 2 commercial showed an app that allows children to trace the outline of numbers and letters in an attempt to help them learn. Let's just hope that Auburn's children don't start lower-casing their pronoun I's.