The Mineola Union Free School District, located in the New York City suburb of Mineola, is in the fifth year of an initiative equipping its students with iPads for the bulk of classroom lessons. The progress being made was detailed by Gail Robinson of The Hechinger Report, after she spent a day with 24 third-graders at Jackson Avenue School.
While the initiative sees students “constantly” using their iPads for a variety of tasks, third-grade teacher Morgan Mercaldi’s students still write their reports on actual paper. They do however use their iPad in other parts of the curriculum, such as math, where they use the Edmodo app to communicate with their teacher and submit answers to math problems.
While Apple has continued to make a number of deals school districts for using the iPad in the classroom, the company did face one high-profile failure in the Los Angeles Unified School District. That initiative was officially terminated in December, following charges of mismanagement and less than above board funding plans by former schools Superintendent John Deasy, who resigned in October 2014. Critics charged that both Apple and Pearson had an unfair advantage in the bidding process, those claims are currently the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation.
Apple is continually making changes to its iPad in Education program, aimed at making it easier to deploy iPads in the classroom. Apple is reported to be planning to allow schools to distribute apps without the need to assign an Apple ID to the tablets, and in 2016, AppleInsider notes the company will allow schools to create and manage Apple IDs for students for access to iCloud.