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Inverness, Florida -- Citrus County is proud of its small-town style, but as it becomes our area's first district to go back to school, it's also planning to be first in technology.

As the buses roll and the bells ring Wednesday, the county is making a bold move: deploying iPads in every elementary school.

Fifth graders will now use the tablets, which most middle school students in Citrus started using last year.

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By the end of this year, Citrus County is on schedule for every single student in the district to have access to an iPad -- either their own, or a shared one.

Citrus County is proud of its small-town style, but as it becomes our area's first district to go back to school, it's also planning to be first in technology.

Within three years, the district will have 5,800 iPads. That's enough to assign an individual tablet to every child.

Students are using the iPads as textbooks, notepads, chalkboards, libraries, and more. Teachers have developed lesson plans around the tablets.

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Citrus schools Superintendent Sandra "Sam" Himmel says they're pioneering a way of learning that keeps today's kids engaged.

And she's confident that learning while using tablets as 21-century textbooks will eventually become the norm for kids in schools across the state.

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