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Voters In Grand County To Decide Whether Students Get iPads

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GRANBY, Colo. (CBS4) – A school district in Colorado’s high country is asking voters to pay more in Tuesday’s election so every student can have an iPad.

The ballot measure doesn’t include the word iPad in its language, it simply asks for a mill levy increase equaling $400,000 a year for a total of $1.2 million. The money would allow the East Grand School District to buy the tablets for each of its 1,300 students.

School district officials say this is a logical step in the right direction for students.

“This is not a revolution, this is an evolution,” said Kery Harrelson, the head of technology for the district. “We’re just moving and changing with the times.”

iPads

(credit: CBS)

The district says it is running out of money for new technology investments, and that by looking ahead, Harrelson says it’s actually cheaper to buy the iPad than keeping the schools filled with desktop computers.

“The main benefit is that now you don’t take kids to the technology, the kids take technology with them,” Harrelson said.

The district says the iPad is progressive, with textbooks available on it and many free helpful apps.

“This now opens up a lot of opportunities especially with things like Google apps. The collaboration piece and all of that. It’s really limitless for what we can do,” Harrelson said.

Harrelson said that the plan is imperative on teaching the kids how to use the device. If the ballot item is approved, approximately 40 percent of the money would go toward training staff and students.

Harrelson said he has been to Manitou Springs to follow their model for providing iPads for students.

“Once every kid in a classroom has the world at their fingertips all the time, then it’s a huge change,” he said.

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