As a 68-year-old man who reads your paper cover to cover every day, I have to say that Steve Lopez's skepticism about providing iPads to schoolchildren is misplaced.
That I can now download books allows me to read more of them in a year then I had in the previous five before I had a tablet computer. If this device affects my old habits, I can't believe it won't help create more excitement for learning in young minds.
At Palms Middle School in the Los Angeles Unified School District, where I am the principal, we started purchasing iPads three years ago for the classroom. We started with one science class, and our teachers researched educational software (which was less abundant then) and set protocols for care and use in the classroom.