San Diego school district buys 26K iPads for students

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 82
    conrailconrail Posts: 489member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post


    And do they have funding for the ongoing IT infrastructure required? Do they have a curriculum strategy? Are they providing training for the teachers?


     


    Sorry, but color me skeptical. Shiny toys are nice, but schools (at least in my area) are consumed with drilling students to pass the standardized tests. Actual education is secondary to assuring the kids can pass the tests.


     


    - Jasen.



    I'm skeptical too.  Throwing iPads at students won't help them learn any more than sticking computers in every classroom did in the 1990's. 

  • Reply 22 of 82
    enzosenzos Posts: 344member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post





    That last bit is a bit wrong itself. It's not the tech that's raising scores, but how it has been utilized. Poorly utilized tech is as useless as no tech.


    Actually, in my experience (10 yrs university lecturing) poorly utilized tech (or even just too much tech) is far WORSE that no tech. In one memorable example, a colleague of mine took on a Plant Physiology (university 200-level) course which had been delivered for years via PowerPoint with presentations, notes, Q&As, answered past-exam questions etc provided on Student Share. He scrapped the PP and other cyber-shite and gave the course using clear analytical well-spoken English, a blackboard and colored chalk: the scores doubled and the pass rate went from 40% to 90% even though it was assessed with what were clearly harder exam and topic test questions than previous years. Which is not to say the iPad won't prove useful since it has a different human-intraction model to keyboard PCs. This won't be known until students have been using it for a few years. 

  • Reply 23 of 82
    kkerstkkerst Posts: 330member
    This is a complete waste of money. The over educated self praising teachers who pat themselves on the back can't even find the home button because they are all technically challenged. There's no proof that just throwing more money at education helps anything.

    If a kid will learn, they will earn. This effort comes from the same school district that just laid off a ton of teachers.
  • Reply 24 of 82
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    While the first part is true, the last part is wrong.

    There have been studies showing the effect of technology on education. A well-executed technology plan most certainly can have a positive impact on educational results. In particular, some studies concluded that students using iPads did much better than those who did not. For example:

    http://www.hmhco.com/content/student-math-scores-jump-20-percent-hmh-algebra-curriculum-apple-ipad-app-transforms-class


     


    Which is the problem. Take away the "bright and shiny" and what's left?


     


    It's like the old tactic of trying to "connect" with kids by incorporating concepts into a rap. Having to call on pop culture to get kids' attention because they couldn't be bothered to be interested otherwise.   ---------->  Self-starters who are eager because they recognize the benefits and later rewards vs. shiny inducements.


     


    That being said, I AM in support of technology such as iPads in class. Wholeheartedly, at that. Whatever helps, helps. Though reliance on technology to make a subject more interesting or palatable is a bad habit, but one that begins with students, not teachers. 


     


    This problem goes even further up the ladder to college education. 


     


     


    The late Professor T.G. Elliott of the Classics Department of the University of Toronto at Mississauga (formerly Erindale College), under whom I had the pleasure of studying for a number of years, had already addressed this issue and others like it years ago in his course syllabi, and he probably wasn't the first one:


     


    --------


    "Since most members of the class are first-year students, some remarks to them may not be amiss. The university is sometimes referred to as an institution of higher education, a term which is meant to exclude the education which we inflict upon children, or even upon adolescents. It is the education we offer to young (and other) adults in the hope that they will use our assistance in teaching them to think for themselves. There is no expectation that such education can simply be delivered to the student. If the student does not take an active part in his own higher education, he will not obtain it, and will find any degree conferred upon him quite useless. If you find yourself moping through one of the textbooks and sitting sullenly through the lectures, daring the instructor to interest you in the subject, I invite you to reread this paragraph."


     


    "The university differs from other institutions of higher learning in offering courses in what used to be called the liberal (as distinct from the servile) arts. These are courses for people who want to learn to think for themselves, rather than direct their efforts immediately towards the earning of a salary, and CLA 160 is one of these courses. Those who are frightened by the thought of taking courses that are not immediately connected with a job, should understand that the facility with the written word, which is taught in liberal arts courses, is what communications depend on."


    ------------


     


     


    Are students not able to relate to the material without all these technological "learning aids"? Are we asking too much of them if these new aids are taken away or not implemented? No doubt they *can* improve attention and increase interest, but this may be indicative of a deeper problem: why are schools feeling pressure to do this? Do these aids enhance an already comprehensive experience, or are they being used as a band-aid to cover up a fundamental lack of eagerness to learn? 
  • Reply 25 of 82
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    kkerst wrote: »
    This is a complete waste of money. The over educated self praising teachers who pat themselves on the back can't even find the home button because they are all technically challenged. There's no proof that just throwing more money at education helps anything.

    Nice straw man argument. No one advocated simply throwing money at education.

    OTOH, sometimes money DOES make a difference - when there is a well thought out plan for using the money in intelligent ways. Do you have any evidence that San Diego has not created a plan to use the iPads wisely?
    kkerst wrote: »
    If a kid will learn, they will earn. This effort comes from the same school district that just laid off a ton of teachers.

    So? Throwing more teachers at education doesn't necessarily help anything, either. The School Board there is tasked with understanding what their students need - and then providing it. Do you know more about the San Diego school district than the School Board?
  • Reply 26 of 82
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    charlituna wrote: »
    Unfortunately when it comes to US public schools that is a beast that basically doesn't exist. If you go homeschooling or private, you might find teachers that want kids to learn to think and actually engage, but current funding laws are so tight that such things aren't possible in public schools. If you want your kids to be educated you might be better off home schooling

    That is absolutely not true. We have magnet (public) schools in our area which achieve results comparable to the best private schools. These results are even more impressive when you consider the socio-economic status of the kids in the magnet school (which is located in one of the most depressed areas in town and has about 50% of its students from lower income families) vs the private schools (which charge $7-17 K per year in tuition).

    There ARE good public schools out there.
  • Reply 27 of 82
    scadesscades Posts: 35member


    Odd how using the words "education," "teaching," "learning," etc. leads to debates/rants about the educational system on a site that's about a corner of the technology industry....




    My take on the San Diego decision is that bulky, expensive, textbooks will be replaced a sleek, easily used machine that encourages students to explore ideas rather than just plow through linear printed text. Apple's new e-book format designed with textbooks and learning in the foreground should improve learning outcomes in any given classroom. It won'd make all classes wonderful, but for any given teacher, and any given class, the outcomes should be better with the iBook than without it.

  • Reply 28 of 82

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post



    If you go homeschooling or private, you might find teachers that want kids to learn to think and actually engage, but current funding laws are so tight that such things aren't possible in public schools. If you want your kids to be educated you might be better off home schooling


    Or ... you might not.


     


    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/25/louisiana-students-loch-ness-monster-disprove-evolution_n_1624643.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003


     


    It comes down to the teachers, the materials being taught, and the environment in which it is being taught. You can get away with poor teachers and subpar environments to some extent with the right students, but the materials being taught is a crucial element.


     


    I read an article a couple of weeks back outlining the cost savings one county had by supplying text books on iPads as opposed to physical books. It was a great break down, and basically was saving significant money - even allowing for support and additional teacher training. I'll post if I can find it again.

  • Reply 29 of 82
    umumumumumum Posts: 76member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    While the first part is true, the last part is wrong.

    There have been studies showing the effect of technology on education. A well-executed technology plan most certainly can have a positive impact on educational results. In particular, some studies concluded that students using iPads did much better than those who did not. For example:

    http://www.hmhco.com/content/student-math-scores-jump-20-percent-hmh-algebra-curriculum-apple-ipad-app-transforms-class


     


    supplier of education software publishes study concluding we need more of their product, there's no risk of bias there then


     


    it's the passionate teacher/craftsman/artist/engineer/scientist/etc. that makes the difference, not the tool, sadly there is a shortage of the former, plenty of the latter though

  • Reply 30 of 82
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    tokenuser wrote: »
    Or ... you might not.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/25/louisiana-students-loch-ness-monster-disprove-evolution_n_1624643.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

    It comes down to the teachers, the materials being taught, and the environment in which it is being taught. You can get away with poor teachers and subpar environments to some extent with the right students, but the materials being taught is a crucial element.

    Absolutely. While properly implemented and with a parent/teacher who is fully qualified, home schooling CAN provide a superior education. Unfortunately, in far too many cases, it's "we don't want our kids being exposed to science or kids from other cultures" so the kids end up getting short-changed.

    While there are idiots and bigots in public schools, too, at least the kids get a new teacher every year - so it is unlikely that they'll never be exposed to real science.
    tokenuser wrote: »
    I read an article a couple of weeks back outlining the cost savings one county had by supplying text books on iPads as opposed to physical books. It was a great break down, and basically was saving significant money - even allowing for support and additional teacher training. I'll post if I can find it again.

    That wouldn't surprise me. It really comes down to whether the school district can get a good price for the eBooks.
  • Reply 31 of 82
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    umumum wrote: »
    supplier of education software publishes study concluding we need more of their product, there's no risk of bias there then

    it's the passionate teacher/craftsman/artist/engineer/scientist/etc. that makes the difference, not the tool, sadly there is a shortage of the former, plenty of the latter though

    That was just one of the studies showing the same thing.

    Besides, you can't simply dismiss it on the basis of not liking the source. Do you have any evidence to refute it or can you show that their study was improperly conducted?
  • Reply 32 of 82
    squeaksqueak Posts: 26member


    "The district has not indicated exactly what software students will use, though a likely candidate would be Apple`s own iBooks software"


     


    and


     


    "The iPad 2 units will be utilized in 5th- and 8th-grade classrooms, as well as some high school classes."


     


     


    don't really go together. Since the books purchased via the iBooks store belong to the student and require an Apple ID, it is only available to students ages 13 and older. That means you are looking at ~8th grade and above.


     


    What will probably happen is that a lot of the main publishers are coming up with their own proprietary apps to deliver books that are part of a subscription that district pays directly to the publisher. I know that both McGraw-Hill and Pearson have offerings in the store to do exactly that.

  • Reply 33 of 82

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by enzos View Post


    Actually, in my experience (10 yrs university lecturing) poorly utilized tech (or even just too much tech) is far WORSE that no tech. In one memorable example, a colleague of mine took on a Plant Physiology (university 200-level) course which had been delivered for years via PowerPoint with presentations, notes, Q&As, answered past-exam questions etc provided on Student Share. He scrapped the PP and other cyber-shite and gave the course using clear analytical well-spoken English, a blackboard and colored chalk: the scores doubled and the pass rate went from 40% to 90% even though it was assessed with what were clearly harder exam and topic test questions than previous years. Which is not to say the iPad won't prove useful since it has a different human-intraction model to keyboard PCs. This won't be known until students have been using it for a few years. 



    they need to stop wasting money on that techno shite. nothing beats the socratic method.

  • Reply 34 of 82
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member


    I wonder what the service life of a $370 iPad is compared to a $370 Windows laptop. And what the support costs are for each over time. And how the resale value of each compares when remaining devices are retired.


     


    This is probably HUGE savings, above and beyond being a great educational tool.

  • Reply 35 of 82
    jasenj1jasenj1 Posts: 922member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    That may be true, but the argument that technology is useless is just plain wrong. When appropriately implemented, it has been demonstrated that technology contributes to significantly higher results.

    Then I'd suggest that you run for school board. Or complain to the school. Or find a magnet school. Or home school your kids. Or send the kids to a private school. Or provide for extracurricular educational activities.


     


    As others have said, technology implemented poorly can be worse than useless. Maybe San Diego has their act together. I hope so.


     


    We're going the home school route. Khan Academy has been very helpful. And we're doing Rosetta Stone for foreign language. Technology can make life better for teachers and students. It can also just be a waste of money.


     


    My wife did a long-term sub job at a local school. The good students were essentially ignored while the teachers poured the majority of their effort into getting the poor performers to pass the tests. An iPad oriented environment could allow the good students to move along at their own pace.


     


    Anyway, as others mentioned, this thread quickly turned into a critique of the US public education system. iPads are cool and useful; I hope San Diego can show the right way to use them.

  • Reply 36 of 82
    kkerstkkerst Posts: 330member


    Agree 100,000%

  • Reply 37 of 82
    kkerstkkerst Posts: 330member


    Agree a million times over. They started doing this in the 80's but with no measurable results other than, yeah, kids know how to use computers while their parents don't. But why do the kids still suck at basic math skills? 

  • Reply 38 of 82
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,683member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    I wonder what the service life of a $370 iPad is compared to a $370 Windows laptop. And what the support costs are for each over time. And how the resale value of each compares when remaining devices are retired.


     


    This is probably HUGE savings, above and beyond being a great educational tool.



    This is what I'm thinking. And it will be interesting to see the cost breakdown over a period of three years as compared to old school text books. I think this is forward looking and positive and I am amazed at how many people here are against an initiative like this. Everybody here surely are sold on the value of it in business as well as education and the home, and to view this as a waste of money seems completely short sighted for all the reasons that have been stated many times in many places. 


     


    For your old fogeys - education is a living, moving thing which evolves. When I see schools that look like and use methods that were used when I was a kid, I get pissed off. Workplaces and business practices have changed a lot over the years and so must education. If you stand still you are moving backwards.

  • Reply 39 of 82
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,683member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kkerst View Post

    But why do the kids still suck at basic math skills? 


    What kids? All kids? The argument needs refining. I suspect the reason many kids today are educationally underachieving has more to do with the political and social landscape than technology and teacher skills. 

  • Reply 40 of 82
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    I wouldn't say as useless but I would say that tech can often just as easily be a great tool for learning as much as it is a great distraction from learning.


     


    if Tech is a distraction it is being poorly utilized because that doesn't just mean handing it to kids or picking out a few apps or books. It means eliminating potential issues before they arise. Like investigating whether you can look out certain functions either on the device or via blocking access to problem websites network wide at the router. It means developing usage rules and rules of responsibility and having parents agree to back up the school if a kid breaks the rules by jail breaking their iPad or restoring it to remove the lock on the app store and the school wants to suspend or expel them. and so on. 

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