Presidio Middle School students get iPads for class

Students in one algebra class at Presidio Middle School are the lucky new owners of iPads. The fancy new technology, though, is provided as a learning tool for students, not just for fun and games.

For the students in one San Francisco Unified School District middle school class, the iPad will be used as a learning tool to customize how the kids learn algebra.

For instance, when stuck on a math problem, students can watch videos to help them solve the math concept or record notes to help them with a similar problem in the future.

Presidio students are some of the 400 learners to receive iPads this school year as part of a yearlong pilot program experimenting with a full-curriculum algebra application. Students in Long Beach, Fresno and Riverside also received iPads for the coming school year. The study is by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a publishing company.

According to San Francisco District officials, the trial will also be part of a scientific study that will compare students using the iPad to those using a conventional textbook to measure content and effectiveness. The results of the study are expected to be revealed next fall.

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