SAN ANTONIO -

With tight school budgets, it can be rare for educators to get a treat, but on Friday morning, Southside Independent School District gave out iPads to teachers.

"We're moving in to the 22nd Century, so this is great," said John Davis, a 7th-grade teacher at Mathew Middle School.

Over the next four years, Southside ISD plans to get every teacher and student an iPad.

IMAGES: iPad giveaway

"It's a great opportunity to learn something our kids are going to be growing up with, so I want to be right on the same level as our students because this is their generation, the technology," said Cindy Farr, a 2nd-grade teacher at Gallardo Elementary.   

At the beginning of the year, 9th and 10th graders will be issued iPads.

Within four years, all students in the district will have them.

"We've looked at several different devices. We ultimately decided on the iPad due to all the educational apps for the iPads," said Melissa Oshman, director of technology for the district.

Eventually, students and teachers won't have to lug around big heavy books. There are plans to have textbooks digitized so they'll be accessible on the iPad.

It'll cost about $3 million over the next four years to switch to iPads but district leaders say it'll pay off.

"It actually costs more to purchase the textbooks that they would normally carry around with them than to it did  purchase an iPad," said Oshman.

IMAGES: iPad giveaway

The district received a discount on the iPads since they purchased in bulk. They cost  $379 each, plus the cost of a sturdy. protective case.