Latest in Gear

Image credit:

North Carolina elementary teachers will get iPads to bolster reading

The $6 million deal will help track progress on reading levels.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
August 7, 2018
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Chris Velazco/Engadget

Apple's renewed push for iPads in schools appears to be paying dividends. North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson has unfurled plans to give the state's K-3 teachers iPads to help improve and track student reading. Educators will use the tablets to "reduce burdens" and boost interaction as kids advance their reading levels. Johnson didn't outline the cost per tablet, but the state will pay $6 million out of a $15 million pool of unused money from previous budget years.

A small number of systems in the state will get Chromebooks or similar hardware.

The expansion is an unusual one in that it's not handing out tablets to students, although that also makes it considerably more affordable. It's hard not to draw comparisons between this and Los Angeles' ill-fated iPad deal, however. Observers have warned that a large chunk of the $15 million could only be spent by local governments, not the state, and that North Carolina's budget office prevented the Public Instruction Department from offsetting budget cuts with extra spending from the state reading program. This may be another case of using creative accounting to launch a technology-laden initiative that sounds good on the surface, but isn't guaranteed to improve children's skills.

There are also some unanswered questions. Is there an upgrade policy when the tablets eventually become obsolete, or a way to gauge the effectiveness of the tablets? What does the support plan look like? If the state wants the tablets to remain reasonably current, it may face higher costs than it was expecting.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

The Morning After: Our first impressions of the Xbox Series X

The Morning After: Our first impressions of the Xbox Series X

View
The Arcwave Ion is designed to 'give men a female orgasm'

The Arcwave Ion is designed to 'give men a female orgasm'

View
Xbox Series X first look: Fast, powerful and quiet

Xbox Series X first look: Fast, powerful and quiet

View
TCL rolls out new Roku TV Ready Alto sound bars with Dolby Atmos

TCL rolls out new Roku TV Ready Alto sound bars with Dolby Atmos

View
iOS 14 review: Finally rid of the grid

iOS 14 review: Finally rid of the grid

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr