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ISLE OF WIGHT CO. -- Instead of having a backpack full of books, high school students in Isle of Wight County will soon carry around an iPad.

This coming school year, every teacher and student at Windsor and Smithfield High Schools will use the tablets. In all, it's 2,000 iPads that will cost $233 each year for three years. The lease cost includes insurance and training.

The online books will be programmed into the iPads.

'This will allow us to give the students a tool that they can use for resources as well as for textbook,' said Lynn Briggs, director of instructional technology for the Isle of Wight School division.

She added, 'when we have the students come to us, for the most part they're already skilled with this technology and they're coming into the school, and they're not getting the opportunities to continue using that technology.'

Students will not only be able to read online books, but they can also take interactive quizzes and use various programs like ones for vocabulary.

'So they can click on the word and then click the link to find, and it gives them a definition of that word,' explained Briggs.

Virginia requires schools to update textbooks every five years, and some books might cost $100. So Smithfield Principal Stenette Byrd says the iPad cost of $233 a year shouldn't be all that shocking.

'[It's] a venture that makes some nervous and things like that, and there are going to be some hiccups along the way, but that's just the nature of our world. It is evolving and we must change with it,' said Principal Byrd.

After the three-year contract for the iPads is up, the schools can buy them for $1 each or return them and get newer models.




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