A UK school has claimed it will "revolutionise learning" by giving an iPad 2 to each of its 1,400 pupils in September for the new academic year.
Longfield Academy in Kent said that it held two parents' events where an iPad project manager from Apple demonstrated the educational applications of the device. A survey was taken among those present at the event, and well over 90 per cent of respondents said that they would like to take part in the scheme.
The school added that its research shows that young people enjoy learning through technology and that it enhances motivation, which in turn helps them achieve better results.
Longfield Academy is working with a national charity – the eLearning Foundation – to support the financing of the scheme but, in addition, is asking for a donation of £16 per month over 3 years for each device, along with specified accessories.
Over the three years, the iPad remains the property of the school, but at the conclusion of this period, Longfield Academy said it will make arrangements under tax rules to enable ownership to be transferred to parents.
The scheme also involves deploying monitored, high-speed wireless networks to support the devices in classrooms.
"It will be interesting to see how this develops, and I suspect many other institutions will be keeping a close eye on the rollout at Longfield Academy over the next few months," said Roger Hockaday, EMEA marketing director at wireless provider Aruba Networks.
"However, before taking the decision to follow in Longfield Academy's footsteps, it is important for schools to recognise that iPads run bandwidth-hungry multimedia applications in a way that laptops simply do not.
"In high density environments, such devices demand a high performance network. Schools, and indeed any organisation looking take advantage of tablets and increasingly advanced smartphones, must recognise the need not only for coverage, but also for quality of coverage."