A friend of mine sends his daughter to a H.S. that has eliminated almost all text books in the classroom. The school, instead, issues all students an iPad as a replacement textbook resource. The coming of age for iPad like devices in the classroom is becoming more prevalent as Apple reports that more than 600 schools across the nation, including the one my friends daughter attends, are ditching the classic text book.
I think it’s a great idea that has only one tiny potential glitch. Hardly anyone is going to steal a 6th grade math book from the dozens of backpacks left unattended outside a classroom or on a bus. Dozens of school backpacks with iPads inside are another matter.
My friends H.S. assigns liability for the iPad to the parents to make sure it’s returned to the school intact and undamaged. That school offers flat fee insurance of about $50/yr that covers damage but isn’t mandatory. The parents can opt out and risk the cost of replacing it on their own or insure it elsewhere with one of many private policy issuers.
But for now, and until the schools I work are able to maintain a working day-to-day network, I won’t have to worry about connecting and navigating the electronic text books.
…But that day APPEARS fast approaching!