March 22, 2012
Dear Parents and Students:
I am writing to share some exciting good news. Beginning next school year (2012-2013), every 7th grade student in the Sweetwater District will be assigned an iPad tablet computer as their primary learning tool. The iPads will replace textbooks and will allow students to take tests, do homework and communicate with their teachers.
iPads will be issued to students to take home, free of charge, to be returned at the end of the school year - much the way text books are now.
By providing iPads to our 7th grade students, the Sweetwater District is revolutionizing learning. These powerful devices will bring a world of facts and knowledge right to students' fingertips, 24-hours a day. As students master the use of this cutting edge technology, they will become better prepared to compete in the global marketplace.
Through the iPads, students will be able to download the latest textbooks and curriculum without the delay of waiting for new textbooks to be printed, purchased and distributed. In addition, the online texts will be available to the district at a fraction of the cost of hard cover textbooks.
Once materials are downloaded, children will be able to study anywhere, any time-even without internet access. Even so, we are finalizing a partnership with Cox Communications for a pilot program to make available very low-cost internet service to families whose children qualify for free and reduced cost meals.
In addition, libraries in our communities offer free internet access. Many of our students are also resourceful about accessing free Wi-Fi internet connections at coffee shops, Laundromats and other businesses around town.
I hope you'll join me in celebrating this great new advance in learning.
Edward M. Brand, Ed.D.