- Associated Press - Sunday, June 24, 2018

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) - Mandan’s school district has been shifting toward putting iPads into the hands of all students, even kindergartners.

Mandan Public Schools will provide iPads this upcoming school year to students in third through fifth grade. Kindergarten through second grade will receive devices the following year, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

The district has been moving to integrate iPads in classrooms as part of Ignite 2025, a plan to ensure all students have access to technology. The district purchased about 900 devices for Mandan Middle School students last year and 1,000 devices for high school students the year before.

“By providing every single student a device, we’re providing equity to our students,” said Perry Just, district curriculum and alternative education director.

School officials said they’ve seen increased student engagement since introducing the iPads. Teachers are also becoming more efficient by having software applications grade tests.



The district shifted costs instead of increasing its technology budget for the iPads. Each device and accessories costs about $350. The cost for iPads will reach nearly $1 million by the end of next school year.

District officials wanted students and staff on the same device and the same software app, where teachers can upload videos of their lessons or livestream them, as well as grade assignments and exams, Just said.

Teachers can choose how much technology they want to integrate into their classrooms.

“Prior to that point where we made the platform to switch (to Apple iPads) and when we made that commitment to have students have devices, technology was primarily a teaching tool,” said Jeff Lind, district assistant superintendent. “Now it’s a learning tool.”

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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