For Pinellas schools, iPads, iPads, iPads
Sunday's St. Petersburg Times story about iPads in Pinellas schools focused on Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School, which recently got more than 500 of them. But as the story pointed out, the district has purchased nearly 1,800 iPads in the past year. Who got 'em? The link below gives a list by "cost center" for about 1,500 of them.
After the hubbub over Gov. Rick Scott asking the Pasco School Board for a cost-benefit analysis of its iPads, the Gradebook asked Pinellas to tell us how many iPads it has, how much they cost and who has them. In its initial response, Pinellas provided us with the list. Later, Pinellas told us it had 1,766 iPads, at a total cost of $1,021,084. We're not sure why there is a discrepancy in the number.
As far as we can tell, Pinellas is pushing iPads as much as, if not more than, any district in the country. We've seen stories about iPads and schools here and there -- including one about 300 iPads being used for science classes down in Manatee -- but with the exception of maybe schools in New York City, we haven't heard of any districts that have jumped on iPads as aggressively as Pinellas. Does the district deserve credit here for being forward thinking? The students and teachers at Morgan Fitzgerald that we talked to last week would definitely say yes.