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Providence Christian purchases iPad 2 tablets for students

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Providence Christian School seniors Isaac Chasteen, left, and Amy Cleveland watch a training video with their classmates while learning how to use their iPad this week. The school purchased 600 of the tablets for students in grades 7-12 will get to use the tablets to complement their learning experience.

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Providence Christian School seniors Isaac Chasteen, left, and Amy Cleveland watch a training video with their classmates while learning how to use their iPad this week. The school purchased 600 of the tablets for students in grades 7-12 will get to use the tablets to complement their learning experience.

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Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Providence Christian School sophomore Becca Rasmussen works on an assignment on an iPad on Monday morning.

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Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Providence Christian School principal Sean Chapman looks over the shoulder of sophomore Rett Perkins as he works on an assignment on his iPad during class on Monday.

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Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Providence Christian School principal Sean Chapman helps sophomore Anna Park during a training session at the school Monday morning.

LILBURN -- The legacy of Apple Computer's late founder continues to make its mark, permeating American culture on many levels.

In some classrooms, teachers and administrators have introduced the iPad 2 tablet computer as an educational tool. Revealed by Apple CEO Steve Jobs in March, the device is a platform for audio-visual media-like books, periodicals, movies, music and web content.

Locally, seventh- through 12th-graders at Providence Christian Academy last week were each issued one of the touch-screen devices.

At $500 a piece, the school purchased 600 of the tablets to distribute among its students and teachers. It wasn't cheap, said High School Principal Sean Chapman, but it's an investment in students' education.

"From a student's standpoint, if you just give them a laptop, they're excited, but give them an iPad and they are pumped," Chapman said.

Using the device allows teachers and administrators to "enter into the students' world. It's something that many of them are already used to using, whether they've got an iPhone or they have a friend with an iPad."

Chapman said that while many students already are familiar with the device, his staff is committed to teaching them to use it "productively."

"Students may already have used an iPad to surf the web or for gaming, but we want to show them about taking notes, we want to show them about functionality," Chapman said.

On Monday, students sat through some instructional lessons and talked about the tablet's nuances with their teachers.

Spanish teacher Kristen Vestal said it's going to be a "huge benefit."

She feels that paper books "are becoming a thing of the past."

"I think technology and the iPad are the future," Vestal said.

Student Alex Schlesener, 15, said using the iPad as an education tool means "having everything you need at your fingertips."

"It will be a lot easier," Schlesener said.

Chapman said the school's board took that into consideration when deciding on the technology upgrade. He said the money was raised through donations.

While each student receives an iPad, it remains property of the school. When students graduate, they will give the tablets back to administrators.

Students will get to take their tablets home with them over the holidays to get comfortable using them.

In January, teachers will begin incorporating the devices into the curriculum.

"We knew we were going to do some kind of one-to-one device, one computer for every student, and iPad just seemed to be the best fit for our classrooms."

Providence Christian Academy is a K-12 independent, interdenominational, parent-sponsored school located in Lilburn.

For more information, visit www.providencechristianacademy.org.