Apple's previously announced partnership with Teach for America is starting to surface in classrooms this week. Following the announcement of the iPad 2, Apple invited iPad users that were upgrading to give back their first generation devices at a retail store, and it would donate them to the poorly paid teachers in the program. In the past couple of weeks, Apple's handed out over 9,000 iPads to Teach for America corps members in 38 states.
When the program was announced six months ago, GOOD called it a "genius idea," but now that it's actually happening, there's some doubt in the initial reactions. Recounting the experience of one TFA corp member who says she's "figured out [the iPad] can make [her students] finish their work fast for 'iPad time,'" Philip Elmer-DeWitt at Fortune says, "To make better use of the device, teachers would probably need more than one iPad per classroom. But it's a start." Jordan Crook at TechCrunch called the program "a great start" adding that "one iPad per classroom seems a bit ineffective." At ZDNet, Zach Whittaker points to the "iPad time" example as an incentive but adds "the iPad alone, or any other tablet for that matter, cannot solve the problem of lack of reading."