Exclusive Sidebar: iPad Pilot Program

New Trier High School in Winnetka, Ill., will conduct a pilot program in 2012-13 to judge how students’ use of iPads affects their performance in courses and their overall approach to school.

Each student enrolled in 15 specific courses will receive a school-issued iPad preloaded with applications. The courses include science, foreign language, English and social studies. The tablet devices will be provided to 600 students.

"We want to assess the impact of having continuous access to a device on the learning and experience in specific courses both in and out of the classroom, and the learning and experience of a student’s school life both in and out of school in such areas as organization, work completion, time management and access to information," the plan for the pilot program states.

Among the questions the school hopes the program will answer:

-What learning experiences are being replaced or modified, and are the new experiences more effective?

-Will 24/7 access improve a student’s ability to manage school work, or could it create an imbalance and inappropriate demands on students?

-Will students, instead of building key skills needed to collect, organize and present information, focus on new, less essential skills?

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