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posted: 9/13/2013 6:31 PM

Woodlands Academy requiring students to have iPads

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  • Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart is the latest Lake County school to add iPads to the classroom.

    Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart is the latest Lake County school to add iPads to the classroom.
    Associated Press, 2011


Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart is the latest Lake County school to add computer tablets to the supplies students must bring to classes.

For the first time, the private, all-girls high school in Lake Forest is requiring its 190 students to have Apple iPads.

Students must purchase their own devices. It doesn't matter which model they purchase, schools spokeswoman Anne O'Connell said.

Teachers have spent the last year learning about the benefits of using iPads in the classroom, O'Connell said.

"IPads inspire creativity and hands-on learning," she said in an email. "With the explosion of applications, students can become more organized, more collaborative in their thinking and certainly more creative."

Being a religious school, Woodlands Academy held a special blessing for the iPads last week.

"The inspiration comes from a story of a medical school anatomy class blessing the cadavers med students would be studying," O'Connell explained. "The blessing reminded the students to be respectful and grateful for the opportunity to broaden their learning and (to) use what they learned for greater good."

Several public schools in the suburbs have launched similar computer initiatives, providing tablets or laptops to students for their work.

Gurnee Elementary District 56 launched one with iPads last year.

Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire rolled out a program with iPads for hundreds of its students last year. By the end of the 2014-15 term, every Stevenson High student will have a tablet.

Mundelein High School students will be given Chromebook laptop computers starting next year.

Woodlands has gone a step further by mandating students buy their own computers.

Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein initiated a similar program in 2012. There, students lease Lenovo ThinkPad tablets from the school. The cost is added to the tuition bill.

Carmel Catholic families have the option to buy the devices when the leases end, officials have said.

St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights launched a mandatory iPad program for students this year, too.

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