Oil company donation buys Montana school district iPads - Shale Reporter : Industry

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Oil company donation buys Montana school district iPads

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Posted: Sunday, April 8, 2012 10:01 pm | Updated: 4:46 pm, Sun Feb 24, 2013.

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Scobey Public Schools officials say a $130,000 donation from a Texas-based oil and gas exploration company means each of its students will have iPads next school year.

Superintendent Dave Selvig said the donation will buy about 250 of the Apple tablets.

Shale Exploration LLC made the donation, with Sam Tallis, company president, and Sid Greehey, majority stake holder, presenting a check last week.

"I just didn't believe it at first," Selvig said about first learning of the donation. "But the next day, they came through."

Tallis and Greehey say they plan to be in the area for years to come and they want to be more than just a company with an office in town. The company is working in North Dakota's Bakken oil fields.

"You can't tell someone you're going to be their long-term partner if you don't back it up," Tallis told the Billings Gazette. "A Bakken may last 25 to 30 years, but an education lasts a lifetime."

School officials said the Internet-ready iPads will speed up Scobey's plan to integrate technology into the classroom. Teachers are also getting iPads, following a plan recently approved by the school board. The plan is to arm teachers with iPads in the fall of 2012 before getting them to students in 2013.

"We've had an idea of what we wanted to do for a little while now," Selvig said. "But this really speeds things up. We've got a lot of planning to do."

He said the iPad will open new opportunities for students.

"There's so many apps out there for education," he said. "As we start phasing it in, there's just so much out there that we feel will really help the students."

The company has made similar donations to Texas schools.

"It allows you to use it in different ways," Greehey said. "At one of the schools, we were able to go to a video conference for a meeting and the students watched a college lecture. You can't do that with a book."

Madalyn Quinlan, the Montana Office of Public Instruction's chief of staff, said she's not aware of other school districts in the state where all the students have iPads, though numbers aren't tracked.

___

Information from: Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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