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High-tech Year Ones start with a tablet
The West Australian Having fun with their iPadds at the Scotch College Junior School are seven-year-old students, left to right, Matthew Graham, Harrison Smith and James Cowan. Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

Technology is so pervasive for Generation Z that many children now arrive at school knowing how to navigate an iPad before they learn to read or count.

Just a few years after tablet computers were released, Scotch College and Presbyterian Ladies College will require every student from Years 1 to 4 to have an Apple iPad from next year.

Though many schools use iPads for the early years, they are usually shared between classes.

Heads of both schools said the new national curriculum required students to be computer literate and it was more effective for them to have their own.

Scotch and PLC require students to have laptop computers from Year 5 and have tested iPads on younger students since 2010.

Anna Hu, director of information and learning technology at both schools, said it was easier for children to demonstrate their learning on iPads because they could record individual progress and show parents what they did.

Scotch headmaster Alec O'Connell said parents would pay an extra $250 for iPads but the school dramatically reduced the number and cost to parents of heavy text books.