School orders parents to buy their children iPad2

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A school has been criticised for forcing its parents to buy a £600 iPad2 for their children.

Teachers at Longfield Academy, in Dartford, Kent, have succumbed to the current technology trend and are bulk-buying 1,400 of the touchscreen computer tablets made by Apple.

From September Longfield Academy, in Dartford, Kent, will require all pupils to have one, at a cost of £576 each, and are installing interactive whiteboards that link to the iPads. The total cost to parents at the school will be £806,400.

The move by Longfield, a school for pupils aged 11 to 18, is the first of its kind in England, but hundreds of schools could follow suit as it has been revealed that some 500 are poised to adopt a similar scheme with digital education charity, e-learning Foundation.

Experts criticised Longfield and questioned the school’s desire to use iPads as an educational tool – saying they were more suited to watching movies, surfing the internet and playing music.

Education expert Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Childhood, said: "The school is shamefully giving parents the impression that buying an expensive iPad is in their child’s long term interest. In reality parents are being asked to invest a small fortune in something that is little more than a toy and hugely associated with the viewing of porn."

In a newsletter to parents, the school says the scheme will ‘revolutionise learning’. It states: ‘Every student will have the chance to use an iPad to improve their learning wherever they are’.

‘We believe that young people enjoy learning through technology enhancing motivation, this in turn helps them achieve better results.
‘The students can link easily with their work wherever they are.....the iPad is light, portable and is very easily carried in a bag...with a 10 hour battery life.

‘Your son or daughter would use the iPad at the Academy and take home each day to use at home.’

Another school ditching traditional teaching in favour of the latest technology includes private school Wellington College, which has thrown out 16,000 books from its library to make way for iPads.

School Leadership Today
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