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May 22, 2012

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Students to get tablet computers, faster WiFi

DIGITAL schoolbags will be ready for every junior middle school and primary school in the city by 2015.

The "schoolbag" is a tablet computer like an iPad that will replace traditional textbooks, while cultivating students' innovation and reducing the burden of books they must carry, local officials said yesterday.

Also, a faster WiFi network - 10 times faster - will cover every classroom in Shanghai to support the digital schoolbag project, according to the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission and China Telecom's Shanghai Branch.

The computers will have science and education functions only. They will feature WiFi functions and interactive educational software. In schools, entertainment functions such as games are prohibited.

The project is being tested in Hongkou and Minhang districts in Shanghai.

The cost will be lower than that of textbooks used during nine years of primary and junior middle schools, which is about 5,000 yuan (US$794). Apple's iPad now starts at about 3,800 yuan, for example. Exact figures on cost have yet to be worked out.

Tech firms including Hanwang, Lenovo and Intel are involved in the project, Shanghai Daily has learned.


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