A school has given its 450 pupils an iPad each, claiming they will help improve their sporting ability. This is either a cunning plan or an excellent way to get some PR from the press.

Bosses at Spires Academy in Canterbury spent £125,000 on the devices and gave them to pupils last Friday. The cash came from the school’s IT budget and a grant from the Government.

Pupils at the academy, which opened in 2007, can take the iPads home and install applications, but are banned from using Facebook or Twitter in class.

Mark Richardson, the iPad project manager for the academy, said: “iPads have numerous teaching advantages.

“They are very portable and you can download textbooks onto them, but they have so many other uses. For example, we have expanded the Wi-Fi reach to take in the sports fields so that we can do things like film the students doing an overhead football kick and compare their techniques to Wayne Rooney’s.”

One parent said he supported the introduction of the iPads, but wanted to make sure his child didn’t “spend all his waking hours on Facebook and Twitter”.

The father, who did not want to named, said: “My son is 14 and he already spends a lot of time on his laptop. Now he has an iPad he will be at it all the time. I will have to take it off him if it starts becoming a problem, but hopefully he’ll use it sensibly and not end up staring at a screen all day.”

Parents contribute £60 for the iPad and can buy them from the school at a discount when their children leave.

Source (the telegraph newspaper)

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