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Kanawha students to get iPads in classrooms

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Every middle and high school student in Kanawha County will have access to an iPad starting this fall.

The Kanawha County Board of Education approved the school system’s Learning 20/20 plan on Monday, which will provide a slew of Apple products to students, teachers and principals across the county during the 2014/15 school year, in addition to extensive professional development for teachers on how to use the technology to enhance learning.

“We could no longer allow the students in Kanawha County Schools to have less technology than most students in this country. By doing this, we keep pace with other districts,” Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Ron Duerring said. “We’ve been working years to get here and we have finally arrived and we’re ready to move to the next step… It’s not the tablet itself that will increase achievement, but how the teachers will use that with students and how students will use that to guide their own instruction.”

The five-year plan will cost more than $14 million, but none of that money is coming from the school’s general budget, Duerring emphasized Monday.

Instead, the money will come from restricted funding sources designated only for technology purposes, in addition to a state funding stream that local school districts just recently gained more control of.

“The funding sources in the general budget are still very constrained, but these are restricted dollars that can only be used for technology funding. If we had to do it with the general budget, we could not do it because the money is not there,” Duerring said.

Kanawha County Schools entered into a leasing agreement with Apple instead of buying the devices, which will allow the equipment to be replaced every four years and prevent the district from being stuck with outdated technology, Duerring said…

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