Somewhere Apple Execs Are Smiling: iPads Are Now Mandatory at This Private School

Webb School in Tennessee

Surely you remember those back-to-school necessities: pencils, paper, three-ring binders. Now comes a new, decidedly not analog required tool for certain students. In the fall, students at the appropriately named Webb School, a private school in Knoxville, Tenn., will be hopping from Staples to the Apple Store. That’s because the school has decided to make it a requirement–a requirement–for each of its 4th-12th graders to have an iPad next year.

“A student who doesn’t already own one can lease one,” KSLA News of Shreveport, La., informs us. The school’s technology director explained the scheme: a three-year lease at about $200 a year, paid in monthly installments.

A statement on the Webb School’s website highlights the importance of technology to the school’s mission:

“Webb School gives great thought and invests significant resources into understanding what are the most relevant and important areas of study for a young person today and what are the best ways to teach that material. The world continues to change at an exponential rate, and keeping current with the knowledge and skill sets that will be essential for tomorrow’s leaders is critical … Experiential, collaborative learning and the increasing role of technology are both at the heart of how Webb students acquire new information and thinking strategies that can be retained and applied over time.”

KSLA News found an English teacher, of all people, who was gleeful about the demise of books in class. “Once I explored it,” said the teacher, Elli Shellist, “I was really excited, because there are things we can do better on this than we can on a paper text.”

Not all tech is welcome at Webb, however: School officials say Facebook and Twitter will be blocked on campus.

[Images: Flickr user notionscapital; Webb School]