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Schools might get free iPads

PALM DESERT, Calif. - In a world where there's an app for everything, educators think bringing technology to school just clicks.

"We've looked at what's happening in education today, and what's happening around the world. We know that technology is key to success whether it be in business or in education," Coachella Valley Unified School District superintendent Darryl Adams said.

The Coachella Valley Unified School District put Measure X on the November ballot, to provide iPads for its 18,000 students, paid for by taxpayers.

"It's going to allow teachers and students to work in a more 21st century learning environment, and it will prepare students for college and citizenship," Adams said.

Parents can pay $40 a year for insurance in case the iPad gets lost, damaged or stolen.

Some iPads have a lot of games on them, but the district says their iPads will be strictly for educational purposes.

Once students walk out of school, "It will not work, it will not even turn on. They won't be able to use the device at all," Adams said.

The other two school districts have something brewing as well. Palm Springs Unified School District will begin BYOD, Bring Your Own Device, over the next few months.

What about students with no device to bring?

"The Bring Your Own Device will be optional, until we have some money to get inexpensive tablet-like devices," Mike Swize, the Palm Springs Unified School District assistant superintendent, said.

Desert Sands Unified School District holds an open house on October 23 at Palm Desert High School, contemplating starting up BYOD as well.

Three districts flirting with a major change in education - parents have a lot to say.

"If I can afford it, I don't think my daughter should be held back just because another family can't afford it," parent Albert Felix said.

"That's where life is going. You can't do anything without a phone or an application these days," parent Dina Uhl said.

Desert Sands and Palm Springs Unified School Districts said maybe someday they will look into a similar initiative to Measure X, but they said now is a very tough time to ask people to give more money.

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