Texas district embarks on widespread iPad program

Ysabella Ortegon, 16, reads about Leonardo da Vinci's painting The Last Supper while working on her new iPad 2 Monday Feb. 27, 2012 at McAllen Memorial High School in McAllen, Texas. McAllen Independent School District began handing out iPads and iPod Touch devices Monday morning and plan on providing the electronic devices to about 25,000 district wide students over the next 12 months. (AP Photo/The Monitor, Nathan Lambrecht)

MCALLEN, Texas - A Texas school districd is trying to close its digital divide by distributing thousands of Apple iPads in a move that could make it the largest tablet computer program for students in the U.S.

McAllen Independent School District began distributing 6,800 devices this week — mostly iPads, but also hundreds of iPod Touch devices for its youngest students.

By this time next year, the district says every one of its more than 25,000 students from kindergarten to 12th grade will receive an iPad or iPod Touch. The district believes it's the largest to try for complete coverage.

Apple would not confirm that. But other districts the company noted as having made large investments have not made ones as big as McAllen's.

The investment is costing the district more than $20 million.