Maine Schools Earmark $200,000 to Spend on iPads for Kindergartners

Paul Lilly

We're all for promoting technology in schools and teaching kids how to use a command a line, but do kindergartners really need an iPad? The state of Maine apparently thinks so and plans to spend $200,000 equipping more than 300 incoming kindergarten students with Apple's iPad 2 tablet. That means when they're not eating glue or sticking crayons up their noses, they can fire up a $500 tablet and get in a game of Angry Birds.

Digital Trends says the initiative won unanimous approval by the Auburn school board in Maine, and the program will go into effect this Fall. The Maine school district will be the first in the country to hand out iPad 2 devices to kindergartners, which isn't surprising considering Apple's second generation tablet is hard to come by even if you're an adult.

"If your students are engaged, you can teach them anything," Angus King, the former Maine governor who launched the state's laptop program, told the AP . "If they're bored and looking out the window, you can be Socrates and you're not going to teach them anything. These devices are engaging."

But are they also overkill? Not everyone is on board with the new program.

"I understand you have to keep up with technology, but I think a 5-year-old is a little too young to understand," said Sue Millard, a mother of children in older grades.

Do you see a problem with equipping kindergartners with iPad 2 devices, or is this exactly the kind of forward thinking our school systems need? Sound off in the comments section below!

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