An Auckland school has raised the ire of the Education community by announcing it will require all year 9 students to have a portable computer from next year, and recommending the iPad 2 as the ideal device.
In a letter to parents, Orewa College says it has a high-speed fibre connection and a reliable wireless network, but to take full advantage of this each student needs to be provided with their own device.
"Our preference for that device will be the Apple iPad 2,” the letter reads.
In response to the news, Labour education spokesperson Sue Moroney told Fairfax some low- and middle-income families would have trouble finding the money for the iPad 2, which retails for $799.
However, the letter stresses that the iPad 2 is not compulsory, and that any portable computer will be acceptable.
"We have allowed students to bring [portable devices] to school for the last two years. The difference will be that from 2012, staff in year 9 classes will be teaching with the expectation that students will have one-to-one access.”
The school has 400 computers but says personal access for students is difficult as demand is high.
The iPad 2 is recommended because of its longer battery life, instant start-up, and greater portability.