Arlington Public Schools plan to give every student a tablet - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Arlington Public Schools plan to give every student a tablet

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By 2017, each and every Arlington Public Schools student would have an iPad or other tablet for their own use and to take home at night if the schools superintendent gets his wish.

Dr. Patrick Murphy's plan would expand on a pilot program that has made iPads a big hit in Ms. Heather Blake's second grade reading, writing and spelling class at Jamestown Elementary School in Arlington.

"I like to go to Book Writer a lot and make funny stories," says student Tyler Chase.

"So, you have to put it in your backpack to bring it to school," says fellow second grader Ingrid Soracco. "You also have to charge it and you have to be careful with it."

Officials want to start down the road toward universal tablet-using by arming all second and sixth graders next year and each year after that.

"We think this is the way to go for all of our students to have a device and the right resources on it," says Camilla Gagliolo at Jamestown Elementary School.

Though it's not just about the device, officials tell us the plan would have the school district buy about 4,000 iPads and another kind of tablet, costing roughly $200,000 for next school year.

"Let's try and stretch the capabilities of the kids," says Raj Adusumilli, the Assistant Superintendent for Information Services. "The kids are more capable that what we assume they are, so stretch them. Keep doing that."

Adusumilli says Arlington is learning from other school districts that have already done this and have found out the hard way that taking tablets home after school can sometimes prove tricky for youngsters and their families.

School officials in Arlington say they will block open access to the internet -- and help pay for the tablets by transitioning away from desktop and laptop computers.

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