A junior at Kirkwood High School has been circulating a petition at the school in opposition to the use of Apple iPad Mini tablets, a program that the school board unanimously approved just last week.
The board approved the $213,875 purchase of 625 iPad Minis and cases and two classroom iPad carts. Students in third grade and above will be allowed to take the tablets home while younger students will use devices only in the classroom.
But Luke Backer, a junior at the high school, told the Kirkwood Call in a video posted on YouTube that he school has an "Apple obsession" and should be looking at options outside the Apple product line.
The petition, he said, "was really more to prove a point than anything else. While iPads have their place, I don't understand why the science department and the business department, the departments that need Windows, why they pay more money up front to get the Apple, then more money on top of that to install Windows….there's a lot of other options out there."
In the video, KHS Principal Michael Havener said Backer had told him about the petition and respected the intent, but that "the near future will consist of something like the iPad, if it's not the iPad. I'm for something" like this in the classroom.
Assistant Principal Michael Gavin said the program was about pushing teaching and learning firmly into the 21st century, although he applauded Backer's passion.
"I think any time students feel passionate about anything that pertains to them, whether it's in their classroom or school or community, it's important that they find the means to express that, to productively voice those concerns," Gavin said.
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