ST. CLOUD - All middle school students in the St. Cloud area school district now have iPads to use in and outside of the classroom.

6th, 7th and 8th graders received their devices this week. Teachers have been preparing to use the devices since October with workshops and training sessions.

Instructors will now be able to use the tablets for both individual and group projects with students.

Teachers can also grade and provide feedback on projects instantly. The district hopes the iPads give teachers opportunities to be more flexible with their lesson plans, and offer more individual instruction to their students.

Director of community engagement and communications with District 742, Tami DeLand, says teachers are using "Schoology" an online learning, social networking platform to post lessons. Schoology also allows them to post lectures and videos online for students to view any time.

In regards to security, District 742 technology integrationist John Gerads says they have the ability to lock any iPad that's reported missing, meaning that they are practically worthless to potential thieves.

Middle schools in District 742 include North Junior High, South Junior High and Kennedy Community School.