Roll out of iPad program at Shorewood hits a few bumps

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Apple iPad
Director of instructional technology Jim Golubich checked in with the Shoreline School Board Monday evening, January 23, about the roll out of the iPad program at Shorewood High School in September 2011.

Every student at Shorewood was issued an iPad at fall registration. These are for doing school assignments, staying in touch with teachers and class assignments, organizing their work, and online research.

One of the unanticipated problems was how long it took to get an iPad to each student and get them through the initial orientation. It was a week before all students had iPads and this delayed teacher lesson plans that assumed access to the devices.

Another problem was the learning curve for both teachers and students. The iPad runs book readers, email programs, browsers, word processing, and other applications, but there is no operating system or desktop. The learning curve is made more challenging by the demands of deadlines, multiple projects and multiple classes.

Golubich plans to set up regular, more in-depth department training for staff so they can have more information about using the devices as part of their teaching. Tech staff will rotate through the classrooms to provide support. The STAR period will be used to provide help to students, and the librarians will continue to offer help.

Many students did not like using the on-screen keyboard and attached their own external keyboards. Golubich said that according to a survey, students were using the on-screen keyboard for short projects and attaching a keyboard for bigger projects.

He expects that the district may buy a lot of inexpensive keyboards and offer them to students who wish to use them.

The iPads are the replacement for the laptops which have been issued at the high schools since 2006, with the technology bond. Educators realized that students needed to be completely familiar with technology in order to function in today's job environment. With the changes in technology and introduction of new devices, staff have been planning a change.

This year, with the laptops six years old, was decision time. There were enough functioning laptops to supply one high school, so those were given to Shorecrest and iPads were purchased for Shorewood.

The iPads are half the cost of the laptops. In addition, they are book readers and increasing numbers of textbooks are being created digitally. Textbooks for iPad cost $14.99 each and are updated live, so it would be a considerable savings to the district.

All in all, Golubich said that this first three months was very similar to the roll-out of the laptops in 2006. He feels confident that they have plans to solve the initial problems and that students and staff are already adjusting. "Shorewood teachers' spirits are high and they are looking forward to additional professional development on the use of iPads in the classrooms."



3 comments:

Anonymous,  January 26, 2012 at 10:30 AM  

REALLY???? you have got to be kidding! MAYBE THIS IS THE REASON I VOTE DOWN SCHOOL LEVIES!
What a waste of money and time that could be spent teaching the children....the teachers are suppose to learn on their own time...after all they are being paid.
If everything is going to be online why are we building new high schools...they can telecommute to class.....if you throw money at a problem they will never fix it....they just ask for more money. How about the computer lab teaching how to F-disk last years purchase of every child gets a computer and give those to the new students. Geez, and you call these people intelligent???

Anonymous,  January 26, 2012 at 9:34 PM  

It would be great to learn more about the "educational apps" teachers are asking students to use. What are the students doing outside of word processing and reading textbooks? Maybe a future article?

Anonymous,  January 27, 2012 at 4:19 PM  

Reading the article posed a question....buying keyboards for the ipads....isn't that called a laptop?
I agree with the previous comments, what about the old laptops and could you go in depth into this issue.
Thank you

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