47° F

School estimates iPad plan will save $750K annually

Published On: May 16 2013 10:45:19 PM CDT   Updated On: May 16 2013 11:18:15 PM CDT

BELOIT, Wis. -

The Beloit School District is spending more than $1 million to keep students plugged in to technology.

It's no secret many kids would rather tap a screen than turn a page. IPads have already been incorporated into learning in Beloit. Now the Assistant Superintendent Lynee Tourdot said the school district is buying them for all of its students.

"It will not only help us with academic progress in the classroom, it will help us with our college and career initiatives," Tourdot said. "It will help us getting students more focus and engaged in the classroom."

Beloit's second and fifth graders will get iPads later this year, and more grade levels will be added each semester. The goal is to have the Apple tablet devices in classes district-wide in less than two years. The district already has more than 600 iPads.

Tourdot said traditional computer labs will soon be history. She estimates the tablets will save the district about $750,000 each year.

"Even though we are adding devices we'll still save on energy, we'll save on text books, we'll save on paper costs, toner costs, copier costs, a lot of those different things," Tourdot said.

News 3 spoke to parents at Beloit's Riverside Park. Elvia Edler said giving the students iPads is a good idea.

"You can download books online and they can read from there," Elder said. "I think they're more interested in advanced things like that."

Parent Missy Long supports the idea only if the technology doesn't leave kids vulnerable online.

"I don't think they'll be able to monitor all the kids to keep them safe whereas a parent in their own home could monitor their own children," she said.

Tourdot said she and the other district leaders are hoping the exposure to technology will create opportunities for more personalized learning.

"No longer are we limited by 'Here's the text book for science and I can't take you beyond that.'" Tourdot said. "Obviously we do things to take kids beyond that but now we have this wide-open door of opportunity."

Equipping classrooms with iPads is a growing trend in Rock County. The Parkview School District will also add iPads to its classrooms later this year. Milton students have been using them for a several years.

  • PHOTOS: 27 tons of documents destroyed during BBB Shredfest 2016

    The free BBB Shredfest event Saturday offered anyone with documents containing personal information to shred up to three bags. Destroying documents is one way to protect one's identity and thwart fraudsters.

    More than 1,600 cars stopped by two Madison locations from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, and 27 tons of documents were shredded, a Better Business Bureau representative said. The sites were at SVA Certified Public Accountants, 1221 John Q Hammons Dr. and Warner Park, 2930 N. Sherman Ave.

  • Elise Romas

    PHOTOS: Thousands take part in 34th annual CrazyLegs 2016

    The 34th annual CrazyLegs Classic 8K Run and 2-mile Walk Saturday raised money for UW Athletics. As of Friday night, 13,000 people had signed up to participate, and organizers expected more to register Saturday morning before the race begins in waves at 11 a.m.

    WINNERS: Pat Jenkins, 24, of Cambridge, is the top finisher in the men's category. UW law student Jessa Hackman, 24, of Madison, is the top female finisher.