Mobile Computing

Wisconsin District Goes 1-to-1 with iPads

Another school district has made the decision to incorporate a 1-to-1 program into its schools. The Marshfield District School Board has voted to spend $4.3 million over the next 10 years to give every student in its eight schools an iPad.

The district will distribute the devices to its 4,100 students in two phases: Students in grades K-8 will get them next fall and high school students in 2018. Acquisition of the devices, along with training for staff members, is expected to cost about $370,000 per year with the expectation that devices will have to be replaced every three years.

District Teaching and Learning Director Kimberly Ziembo said the devices' use will also be phased in gradually and as an adjunct to instruction already in place. She said she anticipates kindergartners next year will probably use the iPads from 30 minutes to an hour each day.

"It's truly about the instruction in the classroom, not the device," Ziembo said in a report for the Marshfield News Herald.

Eventually, said District Technology Director Mike Drevlow, they will become much more embedded in the curriculum with some paper textbooks being replaced with digital versions and for assessment purposes.

Columbus Catholic High School, also in Marshfield, began a 1-to-1 program several years ago in which the school provides iPads to students who don't have their own devices, charging them a $50 insurance fee.

"The advantages really seem to have outweighed any perceived disadvantages," said Columbus School President David Eaton. "It really puts a powerful tool in the student's hands."

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.