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Los Angeles Schoolkids Get Free iPads by Late 2014

More than a year after Apple announced that its iBooks store would support textbooks, we’re seeing those resources being put into place in classrooms on a massive scale. The Los Angeles Board of Education is implementing a new program that will place 31,000 free iPads in the hands of students within the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The program comes as the result of a new $30 million initiative launched by the district, with the goal of improving education and preparing kids with technology skills they may not be exposed to otherwise. These first 31,000 iPads are just the initial phase of the program, according to CITEworld, but by late 2014 all 640,000 students in the school district will have an iPad.

This first wave is targeting a mix of high school, middle school and elementary school students, the LA Unified School District’s Mark Hovatter told CITEworld. In addition to preparing students for the workforce, the project is also aimed at making education more interactive. With these new iPads, students and teachers will be able to synchronize schedules, share videos and other content, and administer reading tests that can be adjusted to each student’s performance.

As part of the program, Apple will preload iPads with educational apps and resources such as the Pearson Common Core System of Courses and Apple’s iWork and iLife suites. The announcement comes just after Google revealed that its Play store will now support textbooks as of earlier this week.