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iPads could replace books in China school

China,Education,Science/Tech, Tue, 03 Apr 2012 IANS

Beijing, April 3 (IANS) Students in a Chinese school may soon carry iPads instead of books to their classrooms as the management is planning to allow the use of the gadget.


The Jinling High School in Nanjing city has already allowed three students to bring iPads to their classrooms on a trial basis once their new term begins in September.


The policy has been discussed extensively and will possibly be extended to all students, the management said.


The iPads can set students free from the burden of carrying school bags, said Xin Qihua, vice director of the school's international department.


It can also improve interaction between the students and teachers who can ask questions through the device and review all answers from the students immediately, said Xin.


The gadget can also give students access to foreign educational resources, which will contribute to their preparation for the SAT, TOFEL and AP exams, Xin added.


It can also help save up to 90 percent of their expenditures on teaching materials.


The measure was hailed by many young people. "I am so jealous. I have an iPad too, but I am not allowed to take it to the classroom," said a blogger on Sina Weibo.


However, some expressed doubt. They worry that the gadget may spoil the students.


"Although it is worth trying, children who lack self-discipline may waste time in playing games," Xinhua quoted another blogger as saying.


"The teacher has technical control over all the iPads, and students will be prevented from installing any games," Meng Qun, a teacher at the school, as saying.


To lighten the load on students in primary and high schools, local governments have been pondering the idea sometime whether to allow students to use devices like laptops.


However, Yin Fei, professor with Nanjing Normal University, said: "It is a fallacy to reduce students' burdens by introducing electronic devices.


"The excessive burden on students' shoulders is not from the weight of school bags, but the flawed educational system itself."


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