Teachers learning to love their iPads

Apple rolled out its iPad 2 on Friday as it attempts to stay atop the growing tablet PC market, and educators are one segment of the population that's embracing the new technology with gusto.

At a recent Chattanooga lecture by national education reform advocate Geoffrey Canada, more than two dozen of the thin, handheld computers lit up faces in a darkened and packed University of Tennessee at Chattanooga auditorium.

The gadgets - which cost roughly $500 each - provide almost all the functionality of a computer while replacing a clunky keyboard with a bright touchscreen. Most tablets weigh less than 11/2 pounds and pack all their features into a device that's about the size of a piece of notebook paper and less than half an inch thick.

From college campuses to secondary education classrooms, teachers and students are embracing the technology at a time when schools are flush with federal grant money for technology purchases.