Sanger Unified schools are handing out iPads

FRESNO, Calif.

Teachers at two Sanger Unified schools are passing out iPads to students as part of a pilot program designed to increase access to technology in the classroom.

Sanger Unified Associate Superintendent Jon Yost said, "We have two pilot programs. One at community day school which is alternative education where it's a one on one iPad with every student and we have a second one starting at Quail Lake Environmental Charter School with their 7th and 8th graders."

At the start of every school day students like Cori Hall check out a tablet issued specifically to her.

Students can then carry it from class to class, work on their assignments and return it to their teacher before leaving for the day. A process school leaders say allows for greater flexibility and levels out the playing field for students whose families may not be able to afford such an expensive device.

Community Day School Principal Nick Taylor said, "There's definitely no have-nots when you do it this way, there's certain laptop programs where a family has to purchase it, some kids have it some kids don't, but this way everybody has the same tool and the same opportunity to learn and produce the work."

One of the driving forces behind the program is the new "Smarter Balance Assessments" that will require every school in California to take tests online beginning next year. By unveiling the technology now -- students say they have a chance to get comfortable with using an iPad.

Hall explained, "It's pretty cool and it makes everyone engage better because we get to have this at our fingertips and be able to do things a lot quicker."

District officials are working on a plan to get an iPad in the hands of every student at every school and plan to do so in the next three to four years.

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