A few years ago, everyone was excited about acquiring the newest technology in our classrooms. At the time it was interactive white boards. I do not believe there is any information available about whether those purchases are being used effectively today or were just a waste of money.
After talking with my son he said that one of his teachers used her white board. While most teachers chose not to use them or didn't have enough education on how to use them effectively. From my understanding it is quite difficult to integrate an old lesson plan and revamp it to use with new technology if the staff isn't properly trained.
Before we approve the purchase of more "stuff", it would be wise to give a detailed plan to the community. Tell us what kind of professional development would be incorporated.
I'm not sure the investment of the white boards paid off, so why are we so eager to purchase the next new gimmick for teaching? Did we get our money's worth from the white boards?
There is a learning curve with the iPad as with the white boards. Do our teachers and students have extra time to get up to running speed and actually use them to further their education? If not, it will be another expensive toy sitting around and not being used for its intended purpose. It shouldn't be another distraction to tinker with at school.
As for the idea the iPads would prepare our children for their future in the employment field, most employers will have the specific tools needed for that. Updated iPads and programs, job-specific tools, not just a word processor with games on it.
$700,000 is a lot of money to spend on the newest gimmick that outdates within months -- in hopes to educate our children.