• Christie: Improve Schools By Giving Every Kid Their Own iPad

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called for putting an iPad in the hands of every single American student Wednesday, saying it was a key way to improve outcomes in the nation’s schools.

    “The only thing kids should be carrying around from classroom to classroom is an iPad,” Christie told an education summit in New Hampshire. “Every kid should have an iPad.”

    Christie justified this approach by saying that it reflected the reality of modern children, who have grown up immersed in an environment filled with technology.

    “Our kids, they live on smartphones and tablets,” Christie said.

    How much would Christie’s proposal cost? Apple’s current iPad Air 2 tablet costs $432 for the cheapest model on Amazon. With 50.1 million K-12 students in the United States, buying an iPad for every single one of them would cost over $21.6 billion. On top of that, such a program would involve paying for new software, replacing broken tablets, and likely updating to new tablets every few years as they become outdated. (RELATED: L.A.’s iPad Giveaway Continues To Be A Hilarious, Epic Disaster)

    Christie’s daring plan isn’t unprecedented, and that might be the problem. An “iPads for all” strategy has already been attempted in the Los Angeles Unified School District, where it was a spectacular failure. After spending millions of dollars on the program, it had to be abandoned after a trial run of just a few weeks in a handful of schools. Several of the tablets went missing or were broken, while students quickly learned to bypass security measures on the devices, which led to them freely browsing the Internet in class instead of paying attention. The program was such a failure that it’s even been investigated as a possible criminal matter by the FBI. (RELATED: Los Angeles Admits iPad Plan Was $1.3 Billion ‘Gimmick’)

    This spring, the district announced that it is abandoning the plan entirely, instead pursuing a policy of maintaining a smaller number of computers that are given to students when necessary, rather than having a personal tablet for every single student.

    In addition to eliminating traditional textbooks, Christie also proposed eliminating old-fashioned chalkboards and instead putting computer-interfaced Smart Board in every classroom.

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