Florida’s Bradenton Herald
reported over the weekend that Bayshore High School recently became the first public high school in the state to distribute laptops — specifically, iBooks — to its students. Almost 1,000 of them have received computers, with another 800 waiting for theirs.
Bayshore handed out the iBooks as part of a US$2.2 million pilot program authorized by its district. The students can take the new computers home, but while they’re on campus they have filtered access to the Internet. Before they could receive their laptops, their parents had to take a training class, sign permission forms, and pay a $35 accidental damage fee. And both parents and students had to sign use agreement forms that explained the punishment for misusing the iBooks.
The high school celebrated its participation in the pilot program with an assembly last Friday, where Bradenton Herald reporter Michael Barber noted that students, many of whom received their iBooks in the previous few days, already had the knack for downloading music from the Internet and playing games.
“It’s up to you to use these laptops to open up the windows of the world,” district superintendent Roger Dearing told the students.
With the school year drawing to a close, principal David Underhill explained that Bayshore will use the remaining three months to work out any computer-related issues. “Our biggest directive right now is to work through the problems that exist when you’re out there on the cutting edge,” he said.