North Carolina elementary school teachers getting iPads in the fall

Posted:
in iPad edited August 2018
The state, which is in the running to land Apple's next big corporate campus, will spend $6 million on devices meant to improve reading skills for North Carolina children.

North Carolina iPads


North Carolina will buy iPads for use in the state's elementary schools starting with the upcoming school year. According to television station WRAL, the plan was announced by the state's Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson, along with Gov. Roy Cooper and other state officeholders.

The iPads, which will be presented to every public school teacher between kindergarten and third grade, will cost about $6 million, which will come from an unused portion of the Department of Public Instruction's existing budget. The program, while mostly consisting of iPads, will in some instances use Google Chromebooks and other non-Apple devices.

The devices will include an app which will track student reading levels, along with a state campaign to encourage awareness by parents of which level their child has reached.

It's unclear whether the purchase was arranged directly with Apple or if the iPads will be bought through a third party.

Apple in the Triangle

Earlier this year, numerous media reports had North Carolina's Research Triangle area in the lead to land Apple's next corporate campus.

There were even rumors that an official announcement would take place in June, but as of yet there's been no deal and very little noise about the prospects of one. Gov. Cooper said in an interview with WRAL last month that he remained "hopeful" about North Carolina's chances to land a campus from either Apple or Amazon.

Meanwhile, a Triangle Business Journal report this week, found that North Carolina Retirement Systems, the state pension fund, held nearly 3.1 million shares of Apple as of the end of June. With Apple trading at around $207 a share on Tuesday, that stake is now valued at more than $641 million.

Outside the Triangle, Apple has also had a large data center in Maiden for many years.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    78Bandit78Bandit Posts: 218member
    I used to work in a school district.  Technology purchases like this are a huge waste of money at the K-3 grade level it is going to serve.  At that age using the $6 million would be better served buying books for the kids to read rather than an iPad for the teacher.

    Technology has its place in the school system, but too many educators want to jump on the tech bandwagon thinking they can pawn the teaching duties off on an inanimate object.  It doesn't work.  Ultimately you wind up with huge costs purchasing the devices and you need ongoing support that requires additional personnel.  The idea that ereaders will replace textbooks is a false narrative, particularly at the lower grade levels where the curriculum doesn't change from year-to-year.  They aren't learning about the latest in world events or the newest breakthrough discoveries in astrophysics; they are learning how to spell "bacon" and "penguin", how to multiply three digit numbers, and what a noun and verb are.  A competent teacher is much more important than an iPad.
    gatorguy1STnTENDERBITS
  • Reply 2 of 5
    78Bandit said:
    I used to work in a school district.  Technology purchases like this are a huge waste of money at the K-3 grade level it is going to serve.  At that age using the $6 million would be better served buying books for the kids to read rather than an iPad for the teacher.

    Technology has its place in the school system, but too many educators want to jump on the tech bandwagon thinking they can pawn the teaching duties off on an inanimate object.  It doesn't work.  Ultimately you wind up with huge costs purchasing the devices and you need ongoing support that requires additional personnel.  The idea that ereaders will replace textbooks is a false narrative, particularly at the lower grade levels where the curriculum doesn't change from year-to-year.  They aren't learning about the latest in world events or the newest breakthrough discoveries in astrophysics; they are learning how to spell "bacon" and "penguin", how to multiply three digit numbers, and what a noun and verb are.  A competent teacher is much more important than an iPad.
    As a retired teacher, +1
  • Reply 3 of 5
    p-dogp-dog Posts: 12member
    78Bandit said:
    A competent teacher is much more important than an iPad.
    Even better than that is a competent teacher who knows how to use an iPad and uses it extensively in the classroom, such as I. I teach in Wake County schools, the largest district in North Carolina and I have used my Apple TV, iMac, iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad daily for the last several years. The Apple TV and iPad combination are the centerpieces of my daily classroom routine. They are all my personal devices, however. The district gives me no Apple hardware or software support whatsoever and has, in fact, often been an impediment to my technology goals. Without support, training, and a clearly defined purpose, this wonderful iPad educational purchase may be a squandered opportunity.
    edited August 2018 GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 4 of 5
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,094member
    I concur with comments that if you had to use the $6 on only one area, increasing teacher pay for the best teachers would be the best use. That said, I'm surprised the education professionals who have weighed in thus don't seem to have the faintest notion of how school budgeting works. Hint: that's not how it works.

    On top of that, 78Bandit appears to be saying that he/she is not aware that you can read books on an iPad, or that digital books cost far less, take up less storage, and are more likely to GET read if they are on a digital device.

    Furthermore, the article says the iPad will go to the teacher, not the individual students, so it's not hard to infer that the purpose of the tablet is to help the teacher improve reading skills among their students (through interactive programs, training exercises and resources, improved record-keeping of student progress, and other such options).
  • Reply 5 of 5
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,608member
    78Bandit said:
    I used to work in a school district.  Technology purchases like this are a huge waste of money at the K-3 grade level it is going to serve.  At that age using the $6 million would be better served buying books for the kids to read rather than an iPad for the teacher.

    Technology has its place in the school system, but too many educators want to jump on the tech bandwagon thinking they can pawn the teaching duties off on an inanimate object.  It doesn't work.  Ultimately you wind up with huge costs purchasing the devices and you need ongoing support that requires additional personnel.  The idea that ereaders will replace textbooks is a false narrative, particularly at the lower grade levels where the curriculum doesn't change from year-to-year.  They aren't learning about the latest in world events or the newest breakthrough discoveries in astrophysics; they are learning how to spell "bacon" and "penguin", how to multiply three digit numbers, and what a noun and verb are.  A competent teacher is much more important than an iPad.
    Well no...
    You are referring to an age old technology problem that is far from unique to education where there is a "a problem" or, "a need" -- so somebody throws technology at it hoping the problem will go away.   That plays out in every area, not just education.   And, neither does it mean that technology is bad or doesn't work.

    What it DOES mean that ANY and EVERY solution to a problem needs to well designed, well built and well implemented -- starting with defining exactly what the problem or need is.   (Too often that critical first step is skipped which means the project will end up being a great solution to a problem that doesn't exist.)
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