Many newspapers let readers donate the proceeds of their subscriptions to an education fund when they go on vacation. These funds have gone to provide newspapers and digital subscriptions to local classrooms, but now the Boston Globe is modernizing the program supplying iPads and projectors instead.
The Globe announced this week that is using $65,000 of reader vacation funds to buy 75 iPads for Boston Public Schools and Stoneham High School. The idea, according to Globe executive Saurer, is that “digital kids turn into digital adults” and that the iPad program will expose them to the paper’s content and knowledge from around the web.
“In the past, teachers would ask elementary school kids to cut out pictures from the paper — it was very tactile,” said Saurer by phone. He added that the advent of digital reading and the impractical economics of supplying paper and ink led the Globe to try the iPad program.
Saurer said the Globe will tweak the program going forward by, for instance, looking at whether the projectors are a good use of money or if more iPads are a better option.
Newspapers around the country run similar education programs funded by vacation subscriptions but Saurer believes the Globe and its sister paper, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, are the first to provide school kids with devices. He said about a quarter of readers choose to donate their subscriptions.