High School Swaps Out Textbooks For iPads

High School Swaps Out Textbooks For iPads

When the students of St. Catherine’s High School’s new middle school program arrive next year, they’ll be sporting shiny new iPads instead of textbooks, giving students plenty of games to play while they should be learning, until they get stolen.

It’s a revolutionary idea, I suppose, but a very bad revolutionary idea.

St Catherine’s High School in Racine, Wisconsin kicks off its new middle school program next year, inviting sixth and seventh graders into a facility that’s traditionally been for eighth through 12th grade students. Some would consider these new students privileged. Others would consider them targets.

To make things easier for the new attendees, St. Catherine’s is doing away with weighty, game-less textbooks, and requiring all new students to pay a $US400 technology fee to acquire an Apple iPad.

So not only does St. Catherine’s have a crop of fresh, young students entering a school filled with older children, they are making sure everyone knows these younger, weaker kids will be carrying around $US500 worth of Apple technology.

Like I said, targets.

The idea of getting rid of heavy textbooks in favour of technology is a very noble and forward-thinking one. The iPad can read electronic books, after all, and also has access to many of the tools children would normally have to pay big money for, like graphing calculators.

And games.

Unless there is some sort of plan in place to regulate the apps loaded on to each device, say a school-wide iTunes account, then there’s no way the school is keeping these kids from playing Plants Vs. Zombies all day long. Hell, I had one computer class in high school that gave me 45 minutes with an Apple IIe, and I still spent the entire time playing a hacked copy of Conan.

“We think it’s time to do something to take advantage of technology,” (School President Christopher) Olley said. “This is a small step for this age group.”

Sir, all steps are small steps for sixth and seventh graders.

While the sixth and seventh graders will pilot the program next year, the rest of the school’s students will be carrying iPads by the 2012-2013 school year. Hopefully this won’t generate any ire between the older students and the newer ones.

New technology replacing textbooks at St. Catherine’s iPads for middle school next fall [The Journal Times – Thanks Bryant!]


  • Certain selective schools (still public schools, not private) in Sydney, Australia also have these technology-only classes. In fact my sister is in one of 3 classes at her school that use tablet laptops (costing $3k) only. They just write/type all their answers in their laptops and send it over instead of the school having to print out thousands of pages of homework a year.

    Anyway, they are advised to never show their laptops to other students and only to bring them out during classes – for obvious reasons. Carrying a $3k bag is high-risk for a 7th grader.

    • Bullying is not such a hugeass problem in Aus as it is in america.

      Assuming all the documentaries about american schools are right, someone gonna get staaaabbed

  • I think this is so ridiculous.
    They are still not a proven device, they have certainly shown they are NOT SECURE…
    handing these to young kids.. they’ll be at least 20 broken every week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I think it is a wonderful idea! If the technology is available why not utilize it? I wish they would do this at my childrens school. There is no need to be breaking our children’s backs with these heavy back packs! Not to mention all the trees there are going to be saved! It’s an all around benefit to the health of our children and our environment! I have been thinking about doing this on my own with my children since the kindle came out! I completely support this idea and can’t wait till the day that it is the norm. For all children!!

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