Gifted Bulletin Board

Welcome to the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

We invite you to share your experiences and to post information about advocacy, research and other gifted education issues on this free public discussion forum.
CLICK HERE to Log In. Click here for the Board Rules.

Links


Learn about the Davidson Academy’s online campus for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the U.S.

The Davidson Institute is a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted students through the following programs:

  • Fellows Scholarship
  • Young Scholars
  • Davidson Academy
  • THINK Summer Institute
  • DITD FaceBook   DITD Twitter   DITD YouTube
    The Davidson Institute is on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

    How gifted-friendly is
    your state?

    Subscribe to the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update

    Who's Online
    0 registered (), 0 Guests and 77 Spiders online.
    Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
    Newest Members
    twiceExceptional, robertjohn5814, Malumier, Roadie, Skittles4
    11168 Registered Users
    July
    Su M Tu W Th F Sa
    1 2
    3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
    31
    Page 1 of 12 1 2 3 ... 11 12 >
    Topic Options
    #165618 - 08/27/13 10:20 AM iPads in school: I don't get it.
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    By now, we've all heard about schools spending a king's ransom on iPads. Well, maybe two or three kings and a few princesses, judging from those numbers. I don't get it, especially in light of huge budget problems.

    My kids use them in school. So far they've taken some pictures and not much else. Okay, it's only been one week, but my 11-year-old used an iPad last year, too, and I don't remember hearing much of anything about what he was learning on his iPad compared to his old-fashioned books.

    There's something to be said for exposing low-income kids to new technologies, but it seems to me that learning how to use important software packages like Office and the like should be a priority over an iPad. And what about offering classes on the basics of IT? That seems like a good idea.

    As I think about edu-fads over the last 40 or 50 years, one side of me is thinking that people learned geometry without much in the way of flashy technology (unless you count a compass as flashy). The other side of me is thinking that schools were failing quite well without the iPads.

    Please help me. Do iPads facilitate learning in a way that makes them worth their high sticker price? If so, how?

    Top
    #165624 - 08/27/13 10:32 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    My husband and I were just talking about this the other night. I don't get it either, but then, I don't have an iPad. I read this, though, a while back, and thought it was interesting:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/technology...isrc=most_viral

    Top
    #165625 - 08/27/13 10:34 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    1111 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/26/11
    Posts: 246
    I agree. I prefer the good old books. I guess I am not "with it".....:-) They have a trial year of IPads at DS's school this year. We'll see if it flies. Only a couple of classes for the tryout year. Not DS thankfully..

    Top
    #165629 - 08/27/13 10:42 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Well, I'm more cynical than most people about this.

    It's always about monetization.

    So follow the money. No, not the local budget. Goodness, no. That's small potatoes.

    No-- where is the REAL money in education/supply chain these days?

    It's in control of CONTENT. It's in licensing content-- not SELLING it.

    Licensing, see, takes money again and again from the same customers. Because they don't actually OWN what you're selling. They just "rent" it for a defined period.



    Software giants have recently figured this out, as well. That's why downloads have gotten SO much more popular. Hard-core DRM and built-in repeat customers.

    The better question might be why schools are falling for this (fairly obvious, IMO) marketing ploy.

    I mean, these are the same publishers that have been foisting awful textbooks on classrooms and curriculum selection committees for several decades at this point. If they can't generate reasonably good content over THAT time-scale, what on earth makes anyone think that they can do it with a faster-to-market series of products?

    So I have no real idea what the driving force is on the school side of things.

    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    Top
    #165630 - 08/27/13 10:47 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Irena Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/12
    Posts: 1733
    I keep being told it will enable my son not have to write as much. Not sure how true that is but that is what I am told... So we are excited about that!


    Edited by Irena (08/27/13 11:00 AM)

    Top
    #165633 - 08/27/13 10:56 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    kcab Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/02/07
    Posts: 1603
    Loc: Sparta, apparently
    Weeeelllll.

    I'm not a huge fan of edu-tech fads, but I don't resent the way my kid's middle school is using iPads. They're basically doing at school any of the group project work that sometimes gets farmed out to the home front. I'm happy to not have to deal with multimedia productions involving multiple kids at my home. Those seem to get done much more efficiently at school anyway - it's better when there is a strict time limit on some activities. I'm not sure how else they were used - I think to record some of the science experiments. Not sure how they will be used this year in math - I'm guessing that they will not be used at all by DS's class. Last year they were only used in science, this year will be science and math. (Other computing platforms are used in the other classes.)

    But, this school didn't pay for the iPads (parent donation, entirely) and I'm pretty sure that the money trail in this case leads in a different (but not prettier) direction than the one HK sees. I suspect an uncontrolled experiment by some execs who would like to see what happens in their kids' classrooms.

    For what it is worth, the schools here aren't talking at all about replacing books. They seem to quite like their books & often choose editions that I like too.

    ETA: The teachers here have had extensive PD on incorporating the iPads.

    While I think iPad use is fine here and at ZIS, I don't think that is the case in a lot of the other districts that I hear about. I really don't think it makes any sense at all to dedicate scarce resources to chasing technology.


    Edited by kcab (08/27/13 11:23 AM)
    _________________________
    kcab

    Top
    #165638 - 08/27/13 11:07 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Zen Scanner Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    Price per year per student licensing that exceeds the cost for purchasing an equivalent textbook is outrageous. There are packages that actually make fair use of the technology distribution model to take the cost down to significantly less per student per year vs. physical copies.

    In theory with an iPad a motivated student can follow a lecture and do enrichment work with the iPad. It's pretty tangible and engaging. Some of the reward based math games are cool. DS and I have played with casting technologies where a each student in a class can answer quiz questions during a lecture. In that way a teacher could get a quick guage of understanding levels.

    We got one as a lark at Christmas (trying to burn one overly generous relative's Christmas money without disrupting our plans.) I'm confident DS7 would've kept up a decent pace in math without it, but I don't think that in six months he would've taught himself math partly through algebra with a supporting understanding of statistics and a mental model of the core concepts of calculus without the iPad. He's torn through podcasts, videos, timed activities, 3d graphing applications, fractal simulators, physics simulators, chemistry simulators, etc.

    BUT, I think they are close to worthless in a classroom without self-starter kids or if the teachers are not getting full, consistent, and ongoing professional development on the use of the technology.

    Top
    #165642 - 08/27/13 11:19 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    To quote from the article ultramarina linked to above: "Are American public schools ready to recognize that it’s the adults and students around the iPads, not just the iPads themselves, that require some real attention?"

    My ds13 has used an iPad in school for over a year - all of the middle school students at his school are required to use an iPad. To be clear, and open and all that up front, he attends a private school and each family is required to provide the student's iPad. He is also 2e, so he's a kid who was already using his own laptop to produce most of his written work - but the iPads in the classroom are required for all the students, not just an accommodation for students with disabilities, and they are integrated into the classroom work in a big way. FWIW, I think they're great and they've been very useful and I think they are a bonus over laptops and they are a step forward. I'm a fan. Here's how they have been used at our school, and also a list of the general pros and cons parents and teachers have found with them:

    First, a few notes - our school does *not* use digital textbooks at this point in time. Each student has access to a school wifi network that is used for printing, email and online research.

    I'll also add that quite a few of the items on the list are things that *could* be done with laptops or desktop computers. The bonus for having an iPad per student is three-fold - they are less expensive than purchasing a laptop for every student (software is *much* less expensive), they are more portable than laptops (see notes below) and they allow a lot of flexibility in scheduling schoolwork - rather than having to only do online research or typing papers during a scheduled computer lab time or having to share a few computers per classroom between students.

    Uses:

    1) Routine word processing/etc that you would do in MSOffice/etc on a laptop or computer.

    2) Project presentations using integrated media (audio, pictures, text etc).

    3) Scheduling and planning via access to shared class online calendar.

    4) Literature - the school uses iBooks etc to supplement the limited book supply they have in the school's library.

    5) Research - the students do most of their research online. The convenient thing about having the iPads is that every student is online and can work independently at the same time, rather than relying on shared computer lab access.

    6) Productivity apps - there are a lot of apps (and more and more coming out all the time) that enhance productivity for students like my 2e ds who have challenges and need the apps - word prediction, graph-making, voice-to-text, text-to-voice etc. The interesting thing is, the students who *don't* have disabilities also use, enjoy and benefit from those same apps. My ds did not like voice-to-text on his laptop and probably would never have even considered using it on his iPad but right away last year a couple of the kids in class who *don't* have disabilities discovered it and started using it and my ds saw it was actually usable.

    7) Our students aren't required to have an iPad with a camera (the first version of iPads didn't have one) - but the cameras are used quite a bit for different types of tasks. Sometimes the kids take pictures of project work, sometimes they take pictures of what's written on the board. Having the capability to take a picture certainly isn't enough reason to justify purchasing iPads for students, but it's a nice bonus.

    8) Collaborative sharing - I can't remember the type of app that was used for this, but the students have an app that allows them to do what I can only describe as multi-media blog - they put together presentations which incorporate pictures + audio + text, and their fellow students can then add comments to each other's presentations.

    9) Communication - the students receive assignments through email, and they can turn in homework via email. Most of the kids like that setup much better than having to bring papers back and forth to school - and one thing about my ds' generation, at least in our area - they are very environmentally conscious, so they also appreciate having the choice of being somewhat paper-free (let's try not to think about the irony of the environmental impact of someday having to dispose of all the outdated electronics....) It has also enabled the children to communicate with each other outside of school in a way that works well for things like finding out what an assignment was if they aren't sure or asking for help from a fellow student - all the kids have to do is send out an email to their class group, and someone will answer it.

    10) Graphic organizers for project work.

    11) Note-taking - you can integrate pictures, audio, and text.

    Pros:

    * They are much less prone to breakage than a laptop. If you have one of the sturdy iPad cases, they can take accidental falls from desks etc.

    * They are more compact and lightweight than a laptop. They are easy to carry from class to class and don't take up much room on desktops or in lockers.

    * Software is inexpensive, and if you need an app for some purpose, you can almost always find one for free.

    Cons:

    * Some students will take advantage of the ability to web surf, play games etc when they should be studying or will become too obsessed with too much screen time (games etc). Those are issues that happened at home, primarily in families who hadn't already run into with other electronics and figured out how to handle them. Our teachers have provided info about gate-keeper apps to prevent access to sites you don't want your child visiting, and have provided good suggestions re how to manage use and screen time. I would also say that in the classroom, although the students use the iPads for almost all of their "written" work and for a lot of research etc - they are not spending a huge amount of time on their devices - the bulk of the time is still spent in project work with each other, discussions, listening to lessons explained by teachers etc.

    2) Cost of replacing if broken - you can buy insurance for them, and our teachers recommend it. That said, only one student in the last several years had an iPad break and that was in a bizarre accident. None have been broken by the minor accidents that can happen at home and around school. I will attest that I have personally dropped my own iPad more times than I can count, sometimes at an unintended high velocity, and it's working a-ok after several years of very heavy use.

    The largest con I see for public education is the cost. OTOH, textbooks cost a lot of money too, and become outdated quickly. I suspect that eventually the glitches that occur with online textbooks now are going to be a thing of the past and at that point tablets/iPads/etc *might* become economically feasible in a much larger way for the average public school.

    polarbear


    Top
    #165644 - 08/27/13 11:24 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: master of none]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: master of none

    But the worst thing is that they give the kids IPADS and make parents sign that we will pay 700.00 in the event it is lost or stolen or damaged. My DS refused to take his home, so I got a similar contract that said I'd be responsible for it while it was at school at all times. NO WAY! How can I be responsible for a piece of school equipment. I refused to sign, and got the answer that "we were just seeing how many parents WOULD sign". Apparently I was the only one who balked.


    Our public elementary tried to pull the same thing on us when they offered to issue ds a laptop for his accommodations - it was an ancient laptop that wouldn't even hold charge, and they wanted us to sign to replace it at the cost of a *new* laptop to an individual purchaser if he happened to break it. Sooooo completely ridiculous!

    In the case of iPads, one of our families transferred in from another school district where students had school-issued iPads, and the cost of insurance through a program the school could purchase was actually rather low. Definitely not $700!

    polarbear

    Top
    #165645 - 08/27/13 11:29 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Irena]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: Irena
    I keep being told it will enable my son not have to write as much. Not sure how true that is but that is what I am told... So we are excited about that!


    Irena, it's really *really* been the best AT ever for my ds. Truly. He likes it sooo much better than using a laptop.

    polarbear

    Top
    #165672 - 08/27/13 03:12 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    polarbear, I'm wondering-- which textbooks become outdated quickly?

    In social studies, I can certainly see how this is a problem, and also in technology related coursework.

    But in most math, literature, science, etc. classes, I guess I just don't see this as a problem of any kind. The rate of change there is VERY low, at least up to the undergraduate collegiate level.

    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    Top
    #165674 - 08/27/13 03:42 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    DeHe Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/07/10
    Posts: 735
    My DS 7 used the class iPad and a keyboard in 1st to learn typing and then to help alleviate his output problems with writing. It's been wonderful, for all those parents needing accommodations for their dysgraphic kids, I would say the iPad has been an effective one. He still writes and practices writing but when he has to write something longer he doesn't get held up by it being painful or tiring. Even hunting and pecking as he was doing before he got going on the typing program, he had much greater writing stamina by typing on the iPad than writing. He will be competent in typing well before the time the school really teaches it and it then becomes a viable option for standardized tests. For K and 1st the rest of the class used it as extras as they use several Ed apps as part of choice time so kids are playing math and reading games. In his classroom it's just another tool to access learning. And the kids love learning math via app math games rather than mad minutes or the traditional route even if what it's doing is exactly the same.

    DeHe

    Top
    #165675 - 08/27/13 04:13 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    My DD uses a tablet for a lot of things-- but it very definitely hasn't improved her typing.

    She greatly prefers the tactile keyboard of a laptop for touch-typing.

    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    Top
    #165676 - 08/27/13 04:25 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    DeHe Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/07/10
    Posts: 735
    The keyboards that the iPads attach to are pretty equivalent to a laptop. And in DS's case the act of learning to use each finger is actually OT as well, so a bit of a win win.

    But I don't know anyone who types well on a screen!

    DeHe

    Top
    #165678 - 08/27/13 04:28 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Ahhh-- yes, an external keyboard. THAT makes more sense to me.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    Top
    #165680 - 08/27/13 04:57 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    The kids at ds' school mostly use bluetooth keyboards, and the school keeps a few extra in the classroom in case anyone needs one that doesn't have one (or forgets where they left it...)... I dunno, some of the kids type pretty danged fast on the screen - they don't use conventional touch typing, they develop their own adaptive keyboarding methods that are probably different for each kid. Touch typing isn't taught at any time in school, yet the kids are mostly very proficient at typing already by the time they reach 7th grade... possibly due to earlier obsessions with Minecraft etc....

    DS is also much better at dealing with the auto-correct on the iPad than I will ever be laugh

    polarbear

    Top
    #165685 - 08/27/13 05:32 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    polarbear, I'm wondering-- which textbooks become outdated quickly?

    In social studies, I can certainly see how this is a problem, and also in technology related coursework.

    But in most math, literature, science, etc. classes, I guess I just don't see this as a problem of any kind. The rate of change there is VERY low, at least up to the undergraduate collegiate level.



    HK, my parents were teachers (many eons ago) and I have quite a few friends who are teachers in our local public schools. While the info in some textbooks might not be out-of-date, there are other issues and the lifespan of textbooks is considered to be much shorter than the lifespan of information contained within most smile Firs there is the issue of wear and tear - textbooks really don't last forever. And it's not just an issue of information becoming outdated and incorrect (which is the issue with social studies), but there is the issue of new information becoming available - which happens all the time in science. Curriculum philosophy can change too. You would think math wouldn't change... but the math textbooks my ds has had are very different than the textbooks I had when I was in school. The concept application examples are from *his* real world, not the world I grew up in or Euclid lived in. I wouldn't need that to learn and understand math, and I'm fairly certain ds doesn't, but for my dd who struggles with math concepts and for kids who are "checked out" when it comes to middle school and high school math, I think it will help. Calculators are very different now, with a lot more functionality, and there are problems contained in the textbook specifically designed to be worked out on calculators. Technology is always moving forward and usually at a fast pace; while the basic math concepts aren't changing, but as our toolbox changes, the way we carry out calculations changes, and our ability to do more complicated calculations and manipulate larger amounts of data changes.

    What I see most though in our kids' school is the impact on literature - they read a *lot* of books, good books. Some are classics, but many are newerish-to-brand new books that are incorporated with social studies, geography etc. The books ds read most recently for school were published in 2004 and 2012. I'd say more than half of the books he read last year assigned by school for project work and literature study were recent publications - and they were great books. Having current fiction and non-fiction brought a lot of interest and meaning into class discussions that the kids identified with.

    I suspect there can be issues with storage space in classrooms and also with accidental loss as well as damage to textbooks that can be avoided by using online books.

    FWIW, I don't see our district ever supplying iPads to all students across the board - the trend in our district (at the moment) appears to be BYOD - or at least that's the "in" thing at the moment smile

    polarbear


    Edited by polarbear (08/27/13 05:34 PM)

    Top
    #165688 - 08/27/13 06:20 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1453
    Loc: NJ
    Having read 1984 as a kid I object to electronic books on pure principle.

    I have seen how revisionism has infected History and how it has become not quite as 'required' to challenge authority now that extreme PC is the authority So I don't doubt that texts would mutate at authoritative will were it not for the anchor that hard copy provides.


    Edited by madeinuk (08/27/13 06:22 PM)
    _________________________
    Become what you are

    Top
    #165691 - 08/27/13 07:17 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: madeinuk]
    RobotMom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/25/09
    Posts: 604
    Loc: in a happier place
    As a teacher I refused to get IPADS in my classroom for a number of reasons, many noted in other people's comments above. Along with one that I wish I could quote, but I have forgotten the study author. I read a study a few years ago talking about how schools are failing kids and why the latest increase in technology in classrooms, especially elementary classrooms is actually hurting our schools more than it is helping. Basically it was saying that when we use an electronic devise for writing, or doing math, or even reading our brains are less actively involved in the process. When we write, for example, our brain has to be actively involved in the process because it has to not only hold the pen it also has to move it in the correct direction over and over again while another part of the brain is remembering what to write. Granted, this takes a very short amount of time, however, it is still there none the less. However, when we are simply typing keys on a computer that section of the brain that controls the hand/arm muscles is not activated and therefore a large part of the connections that the brain makes about information are no longer being made. This same effect was there when students were reading books on an electronic devise rather than holding a book in their hands.
    I have seen this in kids a lot - add to this that they see an electronic devise as a toy and not an educational devise you increase the likely hood of more time being spent on playing rather than on doing their school work.

    Top
    #165692 - 08/27/13 07:36 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: RobotMom]
    DeeDee Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/10
    Posts: 2498
    Originally Posted By: Kerry
    Basically it was saying that when we use an electronic devise for writing, or doing math, or even reading our brains are less actively involved in the process.


    I basically agree with this, or did until I had a child for whom handwriting is painful and difficult. Now, we're looking at typing as a very real solution to a serious problem. Having teachers who are open to tech in the classroom is very helpful for us.

    I will also say that DS's first grade teacher did marvelous projects with school-owned iPads. The kids used them for oral history recordings at the nursing home, then wrote about the oral history (pencil-paper writing), then used an app that let them turn the oral history material into a kind of puppet-show dialogue about past and present that they took back to the nursing home to show the residents. The kids also did some teaching to help the residents learn to use the iPads. It was premised on human engagement, not the technology itself, but the technology added some nice aspects to it all.

    I don't think any technology is particularly good or bad -- but how it's used is very important. Bad teaching will not be fixed by technology, and may be made worse by it.

    DeeDee

    Top
    #165696 - 08/27/13 09:05 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: RobotMom]
    SiaSL Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/11/10
    Posts: 320
    Originally Posted By: Kerry
    As a teacher I refused to get IPADS in my classroom for a number of reasons, many noted in other people's comments above. Along with one that I wish I could quote, but I have forgotten the study author. I read a study a few years ago talking about how schools are failing kids and why the latest increase in technology in classrooms, especially elementary classrooms is actually hurting our schools more than it is helping. Basically it was saying that when we use an electronic devise for writing, or doing math, or even reading our brains are less actively involved in the process. When we write, for example, our brain has to be actively involved in the process because it has to not only hold the pen it also has to move it in the correct direction over and over again while another part of the brain is remembering what to write. Granted, this takes a very short amount of time, however, it is still there none the less. However, when we are simply typing keys on a computer that section of the brain that controls the hand/arm muscles is not activated and therefore a large part of the connections that the brain makes about information are no longer being made. This same effect was there when students were reading books on an electronic devise rather than holding a book in their hands.


    There is this: http://www.futurity.org/for-kids-pens-mightier-than-keyboard/ probably referring to this: http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf/transcription-mode-study-LDQ.pdf that seems to match what you say, but the methodology seems (as reported) doesn't seem (? skimmed on my phone) to address the issue of handwriting vs. keyboarding instruction in their subject population, which seems like a big hole in methodology.

    Most of the pro writers I know don't write long-hand, not even the ones who grew up before typing was commonly taught in school. So I am a bit skeptical about the conclusions...

    Even though as somebody works in tech I usually roll my eyes at the hype around tech and education. If you can't reach kids without an iPad you won't get much farther with one.

    Top
    #165699 - 08/28/13 03:02 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: polarbear]
    Irena Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/12
    Posts: 1733
    Originally Posted By: polarbear
    Originally Posted By: Irena
    I keep being told it will enable my son not have to write as much. Not sure how true that is but that is what I am told... So we are excited about that!


    Irena, it's really *really* been the best AT ever for my ds. Truly. He likes it sooo much better than using a laptop.

    polarbear


    I am so excited to hear this!

    Top
    #165700 - 08/28/13 03:04 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: DeeDee]
    Irena Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/12
    Posts: 1733
    Originally Posted By: DeeDee
    Originally Posted By: Kerry
    Basically it was saying that when we use an electronic devise for writing, or doing math, or even reading our brains are less actively involved in the process.


    I basically agree with this, or did until I had a child for whom handwriting is painful and difficult. Now, we're looking at typing as a very real solution to a serious problem. Having teachers who are open to tech in the classroom is very helpful for us.


    Yup!

    Top
    #165701 - 08/28/13 03:06 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: DeHe]
    Irena Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/12
    Posts: 1733
    Originally Posted By: DeHe
    My DS 7 used the class iPad and a keyboard in 1st to learn typing and then to help alleviate his output problems with writing. It's been wonderful, for all those parents needing accommodations for their dysgraphic kids, I would say the iPad has been an effective one. He still writes and practices writing but when he has to write something longer he doesn't get held up by it being painful or tiring.


    Yay, I am so happy to hear this stuff!


    Top
    #165702 - 08/28/13 03:13 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Irena Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/12
    Posts: 1733
    Oh and just as an aside - people (writers) have been getting out of writing via technology for years and years and years ... When I started practicing as a lawyer obviously we wrote our briefs ect on the computer. The old guys were dictating into dictation machines... no one was *writing* LOL. IN fact they weren't even writing their notes or calendar just about all of them dictated everything including notes and calendar entries that their secretary then took care of "writing" (typing obviously). When I worked for a writer on his book he dictated his entire book that was typed by a secretary. All this 'fear' surrounding technology is silly... but my husband (computer engineer) says people have been afraid of technology forever so get used to it.

    As a mother of a very bright boy with physical and neurological limitations to his ability to physically write it saddens me and downright frightens me, to hear a teacher say she absolutely refuses to consider ipads for the classroom frown


    Edited by Irena (08/28/13 03:21 AM)

    Top
    #165703 - 08/28/13 03:20 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: RobotMom]
    Irena Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/12
    Posts: 1733
    Originally Posted By: Kerry
    Basically it was saying that when we use an electronic devise for writing, or doing math, or even reading our brains are less actively involved in the process. When we write, for example, our brain has to be actively involved in the process because it has to not only hold the pen it also has to move it in the correct direction over and over again while another part of the brain is remembering what to write. Granted, this takes a very short amount of time, however, it is still there none the less. However, when we are simply typing keys on a computer that section of the brain that controls the hand/arm muscles is not activated and therefore a large part of the connections that the brain makes about information are no longer being made. This same effect was there when students were reading books on an electronic devise rather than holding a book in their hands.


    I can't tell you how sad statements like this coming from an educator makes me. As a mother of a child who has problems with writing but who LOVES to write stories and poetry, I can tell you first hand this is bull-[SPAM]. He gives up and checks out (and becomes sad and despondent) when he has to physically write with his hands but he is actively engaged and learning like crazy when he can use a computer. If he had teachers/parents with this sort of mindset his creativity and drive would have been lost completely.

    Top
    #165713 - 08/28/13 05:05 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: master of none]
    Irena Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/12
    Posts: 1733
    Originally Posted By: master of none
    I'm willing to bet that the technology you grew up with is the technology you like


    Exactly. I recently heard a piece on the telephone on NPR... And how it was a technology that was considered evil by many in the beginning and many refused to use it... Now is it even a thought? Does anyone walk around saying "I just refuse to have a telephone! It's ruining our kids/society/etc" ?

    Top
    #165717 - 08/28/13 06:02 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Quote:
    However, when we are simply typing keys on a computer that section of the brain that controls the hand/arm muscles is not activated and therefore a large part of the connections that the brain makes about information are no longer being made.


    So are you suggesting we all go back to longhand? I don't get it. I'd be curious to see the studies on this.

    Top
    #165718 - 08/28/13 06:02 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Quote:
    Does anyone walk around saying "I just refuse to have a telephone! It's ruining our kids/society/etc" ?


    To be contrary, I refuse to have a smartphone. wink

    Top
    #165722 - 08/28/13 06:34 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4884
    I agree that it is about monetization, but I believe it goes well beyond that, to control. There is much observation and tracking possible when putting technology into student's hands... as compared to good old fashioned book learning.

    For example, schools can use technology to monitor students:
    - software can track the number of minutes spent on each page and assignment, as well as the number of times each page/assignment was visited.
    - IP address and keystrokes/clicks can be recorded.
    - Websites visited can be tracked.
    - Government schools have the ability to remotely activate video cam and microphone... schools may turn on the device camera, microphone, etc, then watch/listen in your home.


    Parents may wish to inquire as to a school's written policies and privacy statements, or data collection tracking usage of the ipad, computer, or specific educational software. Parents may also wish to disable microphone, and/or use a cam patch to avoid unauthorized video/recording of their child and/or conversations within the presence of the ipad/computer.

    Top
    #165723 - 08/28/13 06:36 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: ultramarina]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: ultramarina
    To be contrary, I refuse to have a smartphone. wink


    That's not contrary, because you didn't grow up with one. You're proving MON's point.

    Top
    #165724 - 08/28/13 06:48 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1694
    Loc: Australia
    I am really uncomfortable with the arguments about not switching on the right parts of the brain, or remembering as much/ learning as well, when typing instead of writing. Certainly for me typing significantly improved my spelling as I actually developed motor memory for typed spelling, I can feel when it's wrong, no such benefit from handwriting, in fact my spelling declines quite markedly in handwriting (it's never good mind).

    Top
    #165726 - 08/28/13 06:53 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1694
    Loc: Australia
    I am also amused that our iPad/iPods were one of the key tools in the drstix improvement of my DDs handwriting over the last year. An interactive tool that demonstrates and checks for correct directionality and formation of letters is something that's very hard to do with a class full of kids - just because a child's handwriting is completed and neat doesn't mean it was formed correctly. A tablet is nice tool for working on this step of the handwriting process.

    Top
    #165728 - 08/28/13 07:07 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: MumOfThree]
    CAMom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/13/08
    Posts: 748
    Originally Posted By: MumOfThree
    I am really uncomfortable with the arguments about not switching on the right parts of the brain, or remembering as much/ learning as well, when typing instead of writing. Certainly for me typing significantly improved my spelling as I actually developed motor memory for typed spelling, I can feel when it's wrong, no such benefit from handwriting, in fact my spelling declines quite markedly in handwriting (it's never good mind).


    I think that with anything, we can find a study to prove it's bad. If only we'd had scientific theory and research when our ancestors started using fire for cooking! Can you imagine the papers about smoke inhalation, loss of gathering skills and obesity that would result from not traveling long distances in a migratory pattern?

    Technology, ANY technology, is always met with resistance. If using computers (or iPads) actually made it harder to be creative or write or active that part of the brain, people would stop using them. Our best authors wouldn't sit there frustrated with a lack of ideas just beating their heads on a keyboard, they'd pick up a quill pen and go back to work.

    This conversation reminds me of a Ted Talk we watched recently at a school staff development day. It talks about the use of texting language and how people, for literally hundreds of years, have been complaining that kids can't write properly. http://www.ted.com/talks/john_mcwhorter_txtng_is_killing_language_jk.html

    Top
    #165729 - 08/28/13 07:13 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: ultramarina]
    Irena Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/12
    Posts: 1733
    Originally Posted By: ultramarina
    Quote:
    Does anyone walk around saying "I just refuse to have a telephone! It's ruining our kids/society/etc" ?


    To be contrary, I refuse to have a smartphone. wink


    LOL but I'd bet money you DO have a telephone (you know the old fashioned kind) of some sort! That's what they were laughing about on this program - how there was so much fear-mongering about how telephones (not smart phones, not iphones, not cell phones) were the cause of so much concern and controversy! Because it seems soooo silly to us now.

    There will always be people fearful of technology.... Shoot, there are millions of dollar made in movies and books tapping into that very fear of technology... I'm just glad my son's teachers so far are on the more progressive/less fearful side becasue technology is can be absolutely wonderful for people with disabilities, imo!

    Top
    #165731 - 08/28/13 07:27 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Technology that ASSISTS is great.

    I think that what a lot of people are objecting to is that this is-- for MOST students and most classrooms-- a solution in search of a problem... and an expensive solution, to boot... at a time when $$ is all too scarce in most districts.

    In my local district, for example, they spent a MILLION dollars this year on iPads. In a district that cannot afford to replace physical textbooks more than every 10 years, cannot afford a school nurse in each building, etc.

    THAT makes little sense to me.

    frown
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    Top
    #165733 - 08/28/13 07:36 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: CAMom]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2635
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: CAMom

    I think that with anything, we can find a study to prove it's bad.

    I like to dig up studies, but iPads are relatively new, and I wonder if the studies exist. I am not opposed to experimenting with them in schools, but they should be *experiments* done on a small scale with monitoring of results based on criteria specified beforehand. I am dubious of putting the entire student population of Los Angeles on iPads before doing such a study.

    Do anyone's children use EPGY on the iPad? I think the iPad could be a good platform for EPGY.



    Top
    #165737 - 08/28/13 08:08 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Irena]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: Irena
    Originally Posted By: master of none
    I'm willing to bet that the technology you grew up with is the technology you like


    Exactly. I recently heard a piece on the telephone on NPR... And how it was a technology that was considered evil by many in the beginning and many refused to use it... Now is it even a thought? Does anyone walk around saying "I just refuse to have a telephone! It's ruining our kids/society/etc" ?


    Well...TBH, this sounds a bit smug, and seems to be implying that anyone who questions the value of classroom iPads must be a curmudgeon who's afraid of new-fangled gadgets. I wasn't questioning the point of iPads or claiming that they ruin our kids. I was asking if what kind of additional educational value they provide, and if this value is worth multimillion dollar investments by school districts whose budget problems are serious enough that they lay off teachers.

    Some of the messages here have highlighted positive aspects of classroom iPads, which is great. But they mostly seemed to apply to 2E kids with similar problems. So these advantages may not apply to the general population. I see that all kids can do projects on an iPad, but they could do the same work on a laptop or desktop, which is cheaper, less likely to be dropped, and harder to steal. From what I see, people are far more likely to need skills on those devices in the workplace or even at college.

    If textbooks were available on IPads as PDFs, that might be a good thing. It would reduce the weight of a backpack. But if the textbooks were licensed annually, they would strike me more as a profit center, and I'd object to that idea.

    Top
    #165738 - 08/28/13 08:10 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Zen Scanner Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    For studies, I wonder what the iPad placebo would look like? Maybe a piece of cardboard spray painted? "We randomly assigned kids to one of two groups, in one group they received iPads, in the other grey pieces of cardboard. Kids in the iPad group were given SoftwareQ to use, kids in the placebo group had SoftwareQ written on their cardboard. In the post test, kids in the iPad group had a significantly higher appreciation for SoftwareQ (p>.0001) than the placebo group. Our conclusion is that everyone should buy SoftwareQ"

    Top
    #165740 - 08/28/13 08:21 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Zen Scanner]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: Zen Scanner
    For studies, I wonder what the iPad placebo would look like? Maybe a piece of cardboard spray painted? "We randomly assigned kids to one of two groups, in one group they received iPads, in the other grey pieces of cardboard. Kids in the iPad group were given SoftwareQ to use, kids in the placebo group had SoftwareQ written on their cardboard. In the post test, kids in the iPad group had a significantly higher appreciation for SoftwareQ (p>.0001) than the placebo group. Our conclusion is that everyone should buy SoftwareQ"


    I'm thinking maybe compare learning outcomes in subject x (e.g. math) in groups of kids taught the same content. One group has iPads, one has boring old textbooks. If both groups have the books, one group doesn't have flashy iPad software. wink

    Actually, your message highlights the problem: what is the actual advantage of an iPad, specifically? If it can't be measured, what does this mean about the value of the device in a classroom?


    Edited by Val (08/28/13 08:24 AM)
    Edit Reason: Hit submit after I'd only started to type

    Top
    #165741 - 08/28/13 08:41 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: Val
    Actually, your message highlights the problem: what is the actual advantage of an iPad, specifically? If it can't be measured, what does this mean about the value of the device in a classroom?


    What's the actual advantage of a spatula? It depends on what you intend to do with it. It's ideal for flipping things, can be a scraper or stirrer in a trice, can be somewhat limited at scooping things, is absolutely useless as a scrubber, and if you've already used it on food, can be a disaster as a back scratcher.

    So... iPad. It's a tool. Its utility depends entirely on how you intend to use it.

    And that's why its value can't be directly measured, because there will be differences in how it's used... varying by district, teacher, student, and parent.

    Top
    #165743 - 08/28/13 08:55 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    kcab Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/02/07
    Posts: 1603
    Loc: Sparta, apparently
    I doubt that studies will find improved outcomes. Or rather, initial studies *will* but over time the effect will diminish as a wider swath of teachers use the technology (any technology). That's my prediction anyway, apply it wherever you will. Quality of instruction will always be more important, though I don't fault teachers at all for investigating new technology and techniques - some uses may well turn out to be worth the effort.

    I want to make two points:
    1) Instead of likening iPads or other computing platforms to telephones, a better analogy might be to watches. Remember when digital watches first became mainstream (well, *I* do)? For a time it looked like the analog watch was going to be wiped off the face of the earth. But, because analog and digital watches each have areas where they are better than the other, both have survived.

    I think that's largely because the dimensionality of an analog clock is different from that of digital - more types information are displayed at a glance. I see the same thing being true of physical textbooks vs digital.

    2) Media choice should match the desired time permanence of information. I consider digital information to be more ephemeral than paper books - though of course either can be destroyed. I think digital is a great way to store certain school projects! Not so good for something that I might want to refer back to in 25 years.

    I guess elementary school textbooks meet the second point, but I think they fail the first. I love ereaders for certain books - those which are meant to be read sequentially. With textbooks, one tends to move back and forth through the pages, referring to different sections, which is why I don't like digital textbooks.

    _________________________
    kcab

    Top
    #165745 - 08/28/13 09:07 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Dude]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    So... iPad. It's a tool. Its utility depends entirely on how you intend to use it.

    And that's why its value can't be directly measured, because there will be differences in how it's used... varying by district, teacher, student, and parent.


    Well...I suppose that I often forget that as a scientist, I've learned how important it is to be able to prove that a claim is valid. I forget that most people don't have that level of understanding, and it's definitely a struggle for many people in my fields to convince others that evidence is key. Just because something seems great doesn't mean it works as advertised.

    Basically, in serious science and serious engineering, you have to demonstrate that Shiny Thing X is what you claim it is. Education doesn't seem to hobble itself with this unpleasantry (whole language reading is great!! grin).

    Top
    #165747 - 08/28/13 09:33 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2635
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: Val

    Actually, your message highlights the problem: what is the actual advantage of an iPad, specifically?

    A math textbook on an iPad could present problems after each section and instantly correct the answers, saving teachers from the chore of doing so. A chemistry or physics textbook could have simulations, and a biology textbook could have illustrations and videos.

    Top
    #165748 - 08/28/13 09:35 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Quote:
    With textbooks, one tends to move back and forth through the pages, referring to different sections, which is why I don't like digital textbooks.


    This. DD isn't allowed to bring home any textbooks, but we can refer to her math book as an online text. It's a clunky interface, which doesn't help, but for me online textbooks are just a drag. It's the same reason I don't buy ebook versions of cookbooks or reference books. I want to flippy flippy fasty fasty. I don't know--maybe the interface just needs to get better, but I can't be the only one who prefers the physicality of a book in these situations? DD didn't like the digital book, either, for all that she is supposed to be a digital native or whatever.

    I do love my ereader, mind.

    Top
    #165749 - 08/28/13 09:39 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Bostonian, those are good examples. I have almost no experience with iPads so I actually appreciate the real-life examples.

    Despite the way I sound, I am not a Luddite. We actually do plan to get a tablet sometime fairly soon, and the kids will also get their own laptop in the relatively near future. We will probably have to break down and get smartphones, too, because one is basically expected to have one these days. My husband keeps encountering this at work. I really am concerned about this, though, because my work follows me around enough as it is. I don't actually want to get emails when out of the house.

    Boy, though, my kids are not getting iPads at their school anytime soon. Ha ha ha. It is to laugh.

    Top
    #165751 - 08/28/13 10:03 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Irena]
    syoblrig Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/18/11
    Posts: 329
    Originally Posted By: Irena
    Originally Posted By: Kerry
    Basically it was saying that when we use an electronic devise for writing, or doing math, or even reading our brains are less actively involved in the process. When we write, for example, our brain has to be actively involved in the process because it has to not only hold the pen it also has to move it in the correct direction over and over again while another part of the brain is remembering what to write. Granted, this takes a very short amount of time, however, it is still there none the less. However, when we are simply typing keys on a computer that section of the brain that controls the hand/arm muscles is not activated and therefore a large part of the connections that the brain makes about information are no longer being made. This same effect was there when students were reading books on an electronic devise rather than holding a book in their hands.


    I can't tell you how sad statements like this coming from an educator makes me. As a mother of a child who has problems with writing but who LOVES to write stories and poetry, I can tell you first hand this is bull-[SPAM]. He gives up and checks out (and becomes sad and despondent) when he has to physically write with his hands but he is actively engaged and learning like crazy when he can use a computer. If he had teachers/parents with this sort of mindset his creativity and drive would have been lost completely.


    I'm also the parent of a highly gifted kid with dyslexia and dysgraphia, I can say that technology is what opened the doors for my son's reading and writing. Without technology, accessing reading, and putting words to paper with a pencil was so much work, he gave up and would write as little as possible.

    With an iPad or Kindle, he is able to make the words bigger on a screen, which makes reading less tedious for him-- something that's not possible with books, obviously. He's used a Kindle at school for reading for the past 3 years.

    He's just started using speech to text technology to get the first draft of his writing assignments on paper, and then he goes through and does the corrections and editing as needed. His writing is dramatically better, and his essays contain much more detail because he's not so worried about figuring out how to spell (which he will never be good at, even though he's become a good writer).

    This year, both my boys are going to a STEM middle school where every kid gets their own laptop. They won't have text books, and most of their tests will be on the computer and graded immediately. That way the teacher will know by the end of the class period whether there are students who need extra help to understand a concept. So no kid will ever have to wait a week to find out they misunderstood a key concept.

    I think the issue of iPads or other technology in the classroom is in training teachers how to make them effective educational tools, rather than toys.

    ETA: My DYS/non 2e son is a much better writer on the computer as well as my 2e son. So having a laptop in class will improve his educational experience and output.


    Edited by syoblrig (08/28/13 10:10 AM)

    Top
    #165757 - 08/28/13 10:38 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    I also like physical textbooks, especially for mathematics, but I also have a few in PDF format. There's something to be said for being able to carry 4 big textbooks in a device that's a few millimeters thick and about as big as a medium-sized envelope. I have a tablet I use for reading, and prefer it to paper books when I'm reading novels. This is primarily because I don't have to bring more stuff into my house and also because I can carry a library in my handbag. Adjusting the text size, having a built-in dictionary, and web access are also good. Web access is nice when I want to know a bit more about something mentioned in a book.

    But for textbooks, flipping back and forth between pages is cumbersome at best in a large PDF document. HTML or similar is better, provided I'm not paying an annual license fee.

    One weakness I see is that questions in electronic format are always multiple choice. When students don't have to write out answers that are then graded, a lot of teaching and learning opportunities are lost. IMO, this is a significant weakness of electronic learning systems as practiced today.

    FWIW, some of the messages here have convinced me that iPads may have classroom value for specific cases, though I'm not sure if they're better than (cheaper, etc.) laptops. But I do also think that their value needs to be proven, both for 2E-type problems and especially for the general student population.


    Edited by Val (08/28/13 10:40 AM)
    Edit Reason: More detail added

    Top
    #165761 - 08/28/13 11:22 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    A pdf with properly organized Bookmarks is easier to flip around in than any textbook, or an HTML publication. It's just that there are a great many publishers of pdfs who don't take the time to do it.

    The problem of multiple choice can be solved by allowing write-in answers, and having the teachers review them. The technical challenges in this are not great.

    Again, it all comes down to how people use the tool.

    Top
    #165765 - 08/28/13 11:51 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: Val

    One weakness I see is that questions in electronic format are always multiple choice. When students don't have to write out answers that are then graded, a lot of teaching and learning opportunities are lost. IMO, this is a significant weakness of electronic learning systems as practiced today.


    While this may be happening in some places, I just wanted to mention that this has *not* happened at my ds' school - I haven't seen one instance of the iPads being used with a multiple choice format.

    I also wanted to add - I mentioned that my ds in my original reply not because of the benefits the iPad (and other technologies) have had for his challenges, but to point out that many of the apps and methodologies available on the iPad that are of great benefit to him - are also being used *routinely* and benefitting the totally non-challenged kids in his middle school also. I use a lot of the things that he needs on the iPad because they make *my* work more efficient (online dictionaries, word prediction, spell correct etc).

    I totally agree that you can't take something like the iPad (or any technology, or any type of in-the-moment-idea) and just throw it into a school and expect it to work. You need a reason to do it, a well thought-out plan, and the budget to support it. I offered up my one example where iPads are fully integrated into the classroom and I (as a parent) see it as a success, as an example of how iPads can be used in education and why they can work and some teachers might want to use them. I'm very happy our middle school uses them - I do think they add value and they offer opportunities for learning that are unique and of benefit. But we're a small private school with teachers who are motivated, knowledgable and excited about the unique ways they can use the technology. We are lucky to not have worries about theft. Our much larger (and significantly more challenged in many ways) public school district isn't looking at spending millions of dollars they don't have on iPads, but they are exploring many different ways to incorporate more and more technology in all classrooms. I also think that's a good thing. It's not misguided - they have IT experts as a key part of the process, they seek teacher input, they offer training, and they measure data and go about the testing of different technologies systematically and report back to the public. It's expensive. It's also eye-opening to look at the amount of $ our district spends on textbooks, etc.

    Anyway, fwiw, I am a scientist and I totally "get" the need to back up claims with proven data. OTOH, I think in reality intuition and creativity are significant in the history of scientific discoveries. If you held back iPads out of all classrooms for 20 years attempting to scientifically prove the iPad made a difference, you wouldn't need those studies when they were done - iPads will be a thing of the past by then. Education is about the teacher, about curriculum content, about providing opportunities to expose our children to new ideas. Textbooks are a gateway and tool for that. So are iPads. I can't imagine putting together a scientific study every time a school district wanted to change out a math textbook. I would rather trust the math teachers who use the textbook when they say "This textbook is outdated. I'd like to try textbook___ instead."

    OK, off my soapbox smile

    polarbear

    ps -

    Quote:
    FWIW, some of the messages here have convinced me that iPads may have classroom value for specific cases, though I'm not sure if they're better than (cheaper, etc.) laptops. But I do also think that their value needs to be proven, both for 2E-type problems and especially for the general student population.


    The value of iPads for 2e-type problems is being proven every single darned day in the US as kids with many different types of disabilities are using them and as AT folks are testing out new apps etc. Even if a study eventually showed that iPads do *not* provide "meaningful" help for dysgraphic students, I can assure you that as a parent of a dysgraphic student, what I've seen happen at home and at school for my ds is all that I need to understand that yes, the iPad has value for my ds' handwriting challenge. There are quite a few professionals out there (our neuropsych, the OTs we've worked with, teachers, etc) who have seen the same benefits. I didn't find any of ds' apps and software on my own, I found it all through networking and researching and asking questions of professionals who would not have made the recommendations if they hadn't personally seen value in what they were recommending. So I don't really understand the thought that the value "needs to be proven" for 2e? Just my experience, but it has already been proven, from what I've seen.


    Edited by polarbear (08/28/13 11:57 AM)

    Top
    #165767 - 08/28/13 12:12 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: RobotMom]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: Kerry
    When we write, for example, our brain has to be actively involved in the process because it has to not only hold the pen it also has to move it in the correct direction over and over again while another part of the brain is remembering what to write. Granted, this takes a very short amount of time, however, it is still there none the less. However, when we are simply typing keys on a computer that section of the brain that controls the hand/arm muscles is not activated and therefore a large part of the connections that the brain makes about information are no longer being made.


    Kerry, I'm a mom of a dysgraphic student, and fwiw, I didn't take your comment in quite the same way the other 2e moms who replied to you did - I made the assumption that you weren't talking about children with disabilities in what you wrote. That said, I am curious about what grade you teach, and are you specifically talking about handwriting rather than written expression? I just personally can't see how this applies once a child is old enough that the act of handwriting has become automatic for them - and 99.9% of the teachers I've known through my kids' education have no concerns about this. Personally I find typing to be very freeing when I write - I can compose so much more quickly when I type than when I write that my ideas flow much more freely. And I'm *not* dysgraphic in the slightest. My kids' schools let the kids compose their stories, project work etc on the computer and there is a ton of creativity going on in those compositions. I also, honestly, feel that spell-check and word-prediction have helped my non-2e child improve her spelling tremendously.

    I mentioned 99.9% of teachers above - there is one late-elementary teacher I've met who refuses to let her children write on the computers at school and she's adamant about it. She firmly believes that all students should develop beautiful and fluent handwriting before they ever use a computer. When I heard her state her opinions the first time - the first thought that flew through my head was thank goodness my dysgraphic ds didn't land in her class lol - but when I thought through it more, I just don't get it. Our kids are growing up in a world where people type, not a world where people rely on handwriting. So I don't really understand why teachers wouldn't be willing to let their students use computers for composition, unless we're talking about early elementary students who are still learning how to form letters etc. Even then, there are apps for that....

    Quote:
    I have seen this in kids a lot - add to this that they see an electronic devise as a toy and not an educational devise you increase the likely hood of more time being spent on playing rather than on doing their school work.


    I've also seen children in classrooms goofing off when there were no computers around. As well as studious students doing exactly what they were supposed to be doing. I don't think the issue is the medium that is being used for learning, it's the makeup of the people in the classroom - the personalities of the children and the way the teacher deals with those diverse personalities. Electronics can be managed, just as kids who are jumping off bookshelves can be managed.

    polarbear

    Top
    #165771 - 08/28/13 12:23 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2635
    Loc: MA
    Somewhat off-topic, but I'd like to mention that a new product, Parallels Access, allows an iPad to run programs on a PC remotely http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/29/techno...e-computer.html .
    This will make the iPad more versatile.

    Top
    #165772 - 08/28/13 12:31 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Quote:
    I also, honestly, feel that spell-check and word-prediction have helped my non-2e child improve her spelling tremendously.


    Do you think so? I'm not trying to be snarky. It just seems like the skill of spelling is in perpetual decline, which I suppose I would partly attribute to spell-check and word prediction. Why learn to spell if the machine will do it for you?

    I wonder if anyone has studied this.

    BTW, I don't think spelling is the world's most important skill. Being able to write clearly (which is also a skill that is in decline) is far more important. I can definitely see how being able to dictate could help 2E students enormously with this.

    Top
    #165774 - 08/28/13 12:36 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Dude, I don't know. I work with PDFs every single day and I kind of hate them. I've never encountered a large document that I wouldn't rather have in paper form.

    On the other hand, I don't print and reread my written work before submitting it--my brain doesn't feel the need for it. Many people who are older than I am still do that.

    Top
    #165775 - 08/28/13 12:37 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Well, okay. I guess I'd probably rather have a paginated PDF with bookmarks than an 1800-page unpaginated paper version. wink

    Top
    #165779 - 08/28/13 01:25 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: ultramarina]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: ultramarina
    Quote:
    With textbooks, one tends to move back and forth through the pages, referring to different sections, which is why I don't like digital textbooks.


    This. DD isn't allowed to bring home any textbooks, but we can refer to her math book as an online text. It's a clunky interface, which doesn't help, but for me online textbooks are just a drag. It's the same reason I don't buy ebook versions of cookbooks or reference books. I want to flippy flippy fasty fasty. I don't know--maybe the interface just needs to get better, but I can't be the only one who prefers the physicality of a book in these situations? DD didn't like the digital book, either, for all that she is supposed to be a digital native or whatever.

    I do love my ereader, mind.



    This. Exactly this.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    Top
    #165787 - 08/28/13 02:22 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    It appears that this is what brought the subject up - LAUSD launches its drive to equip every student with iPads

    Let's see how they're going about it.

    Quote:
    For Broadacres, in Carson, the tablets were an exhilarating upgrade for a campus that had no wireless Internet and few working computers. Technology was only marginally better at Cimarron, in Hawthorne, where the computer lab couldn't accommodate an entire class.


    Nice. It's a cost-effective way to bring the benefits of technology to a place that didn't have it. Given that the single largest repository of knowledge in human history is accessed via computer, this sounds like a solid win.

    Quote:
    "This is going to level the playing field as far as what schools are doing throughout the district," said Principal Cynthia M. Williams of Cimarron, where 70% of students are from low-income families.


    Ah, yes, the digital divide closes. Another win.

    Quote:
    "If they have a burning question and I don't have an answer, now they can Google. It's literally going to bring the world into the classroom, but positively."


    Absolutely.

    Quote:
    DeCoursey had three days of training on both the iPad and the state's new learning standards, which she's supposed to teach with the devices.


    Three days? On the device AND the state's new standards? So how much time was spent specifically on getting educational value from the iPad? This doesn't sound good.

    Quote:
    "Having an iPad for personal use is not the same as using it to instruct students," Martinez said. "Before you put any kind of technology into the hands of students, the teachers have to be fully trained and capable of using it to teach."


    Indeed.

    Quote:
    The district is paying $678 per device — higher than tablets cost in stores — with pre-loaded educational software that has been only partially developed. The tablets come with tracking software, a sturdy case and a three-year warranty.


    Wait... they're buying in bulk, and still paying more than retail?? The software is only partially developed??

    This sounds like a future case study for how technology implementations go wrong. On the plus side, the district will have 25 years to regret it.


    Edited by Dude (08/28/13 02:24 PM)
    Edit Reason: makey linkey

    Top
    #165789 - 08/28/13 02:41 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: master of none]
    DeHe Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/07/10
    Posts: 735
    Originally Posted By: master of none
    Originally Posted By: ultramarina
    Quote:
    I also, honestly, feel that spell-check and word-prediction have helped my non-2e child improve her spelling tremendously.


    Do you think so? I'm not trying to be snarky. It just seems like the skill of spelling is in perpetual decline, which I suppose I would partly attribute to spell-check and word prediction. Why learn to spell if the machine will do it for you?



    Some of our 2E kids need a lot of feedback and repetition to acquire skills like spelling that are not learned the typical ways. So, my DS definitely is learning spelling each time spell check corrects him. And he is learning how to spell things close enough for spell check to help him out. I believe that without spell check, he would just keep typing things incorrectly, getting those habits ingrained. With spell check, he is called on to correct the spelling each and every time.


    My DS spells perfectly when doing it verbally. Ask him to write the same word a minute later and suddenly half the vowels are gone. Writing is not teaching him to spell the same way kids without his issues are learning it. So when he goes to write a story or an answer to a question there is extra effort that goes into spelling correctly that takes away from his writing - this doesn't seem to happen when typing - even if typing takes him as long. I'm with polarbear, DS is being helped to learn by a tool which allows him to express himself appropriately. My DS is gradually getting to be a better speller - but I couldn't tell you why or when words just stick - but ifhe is excited or wants to get his ideas out all that goes out the window - the act of writing is interfering.

    DeHe

    Top
    #165796 - 08/28/13 03:03 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Dude]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: Dude

    [quote]The district is paying $678 per device — higher than tablets cost in stores — with pre-loaded educational software that has been only partially developed. The tablets come with tracking software, a sturdy case and a three-year warranty.


    This doesn't make sense to me at all - that sounds like an outrageous amount of $ to be paying. I wonder what the educational software is that they're paying for? Also wonder if part of the $ is some sort of outrageous insurance/replacement deal?

    Our middle school students have to purchase Pages and Keynote, and I don't think either one cost more than $20, if that. Everything else they've used (and they've done quite a bit of cool things on their iPads)... has been through *free* apps. There are a few apps I've purchased for my dysgraphic ds, but none cost over $10, most were under $5.

    polarbear

    Top
    #165798 - 08/28/13 03:16 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1694
    Loc: Australia
    As well as typing helping my spelling spell check absolutely has too, for the reasons already stated. I suspect I would have helped more if I'd started typing before uni, or live spell check before work life...

    Schools that use 1:1 Pads here are all high end privates, as far as I am aware they're just buying iPads the way they buy other computers and setting them up themselves. The packages mentioned above sound crazy!

    Top
    #165801 - 08/28/13 03:26 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: ultramarina]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: ultramarina
    Quote:
    I also, honestly, feel that spell-check and word-prediction have helped my non-2e child improve her spelling tremendously.


    Do you think so? I'm not trying to be snarky. It just seems like the skill of spelling is in perpetual decline, which I suppose I would partly attribute to spell-check and word prediction.


    I really do think it's helped my dd improve her spelling tremendously. Really do. There are (I think) different ways that people learn, including learning spelling. I love to read and spelling comes easily to me, so I think I picked up my spelling skills from reading and I'm good at spelling. My dd, otoh, loves to write - she's really *really* good at composing stories and her writing is full of beautiful imagery and creative thinking. She also loves loves LOVES to read. Yet she is not by nature a good speller - it takes her work. As she's spent time writing using the keyboard and spell check and word prediction her ability to spell well (even when she's using handwriting) has improved dramatically. It's not due to studying for spelling tests either - her spelling has improved across the board, on words she's never had for spelling tests. I proof-read her papers for her when she's finished to check her spelling and grammar (at her request), and so I've watched it evolve. It's really kind of cool.

    I've talked to both my dd and my dysgraphic ds about this, and they both feel that spell-check and word prediction have helped them become better at spelling.

    Dysgraphic kids like my ds can sometimes memorize spelling words for spelling tests and do really well - my ds routinely aced all of his spelling tests, but he didn't retain memory of what he studied for spelling tests once the week was past (note - this is not the same for all dysgraphic people). Dysgraphia is basically a challenge with developing automaticity - dysgraphic people need to repeat repeat repeat and repeat again to learn skills that take neurotypical kids very little repetition to become automatic. This shows up most often in handwriting, but that challenge with needing to repeat repeat repeat because of lack of automaticity can show up in other areas like spelling. And that's what spell check and word prediction gives my ds - he sees the words spelled correctly more often and over a much longer extended period of time than with a spelling test - and as he's worked with the tools over the years, I've seen that his ability to spell is improving.

    Quote:
    Why learn to spell if the machine will do it for you?


    One reason to learn to spell is that if you can't spell *close* enough to the word you want to write, the machine will not recognize it. That's a problem for some dysgraphic kids. Another reason to learn to spell is to be able to spell correctly when you handwrite a personal note or leave a handwritten sticky note for someone else to read. Another reason to learn to spell is to increase reading fluency and comprehension. I'm guessing there are quite a few more reasons too.

    I don't know if spelling skills are in decline in general - I am a good speller surrounded in my household by people (adults and kids) who can't spell - but I can't blame that on computers, it's genetics as far as I can tell with my kids and dh smile

    polarbear

    Top
    #165817 - 08/28/13 07:18 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Irena]
    RobotMom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/25/09
    Posts: 604
    Loc: in a happier place
    Originally Posted By: Irena

    As a mother of a very bright boy with physical and neurological limitations to his ability to physically write it saddens me and downright frightens me, to hear a teacher say she absolutely refuses to consider ipads for the classroom frown


    I realized after I posted that I should have explained my position more. I am NOT opposed to the use of technology in my classroom - I teach STEM classes and use it a lot. I allow students to use technology of any kind in my room if it helps them learn. BUT the idea of a school buying ipads for kids instead of textbooks and believing that it is going to increase test scores and make teachers better teachers is what I oppose. In my experience, when a school is pushing for ipads over textbooks or any technology over training teachers to be better teachers it is a bad idea and only results in more bad teaching going on.
    I am sorry I wasn't clear in my original post. A big problem in education is the idea that technology alone will "cure" schools' woes and administrators, as well as companies push stuff onto teachers who have too much on their plates already and who could really benefit more from teacher training than from another gadget to figure out how to handle.

    Top
    #165819 - 08/28/13 07:59 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: polarbear]
    DeeDee Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/10
    Posts: 2498
    Originally Posted By: polarbear

    I don't know if spelling skills are in decline in general - I am a good speller surrounded in my household by people (adults and kids) who can't spell - but I can't blame that on computers, it's genetics as far as I can tell with my kids and dh smile


    LOL, Polar. I am a natural speller, DH is not. I have one child who is a very good speller but loses a little ground when handwriting is involved; and one who's more extreme, really losing a lot of ground if he has to produce it by hand on paper.

    If I have handwritten a grocery list, I can remember it very well afterward without the list. Typing, much less recall. DH is the reverse.

    What I learn from living with the folks I live with is that different brains really are *different* in how they process best. I will not insist that my kids draft their papers longhand (even though I still find it helpful to draft that way sometimes). It's useful to keep in mind that statements like "all people learn better X way" or "with X technology" are generally not true...

    DeeDee

    Top
    #165835 - 08/29/13 04:02 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    geofizz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/06/10
    Posts: 658
    In our house, the cognitive load of moving the pencil is sufficient to make spelling practically impossible. Both my kids are reasonably decent spelling orally (that is, near grade level). Writing the word down makes it worse, and writing a word as part of a sentence -even a dictated sentence - makes it nearly impossible.

    This was clear with my eldest. Misspelled words would have a vague resemblance to the correct spelling, but would almost certainly miss the central syllables of longer words. Giving her Orton Gillingham services were sufficient to lower the barrier on the spelling side sufficiently so that she could spell despite the cognitive load of handwriting.

    For my younger, it looks like we're going to have to reduce the handwriting barrier primarily, and work on OG techniques secondarily. His spelling rarely looks anything like the correct spelling. We're working on handwriting automaticity, but even with that, I suspect he'll need a keyboard ultimately. In his case, his teacher and I just figured out how much of a load it is- multiplication is done at a rate of 1 problem per 2 seconds on the ipad with 100% accuracy, but 1 per 6 on paper with 80% accuracy


    Edited by geofizz (08/29/13 04:03 AM)

    Top
    #165837 - 08/29/13 04:46 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2635
    Loc: MA
    Since most writing is done with spell-check available, knowing exactly how to spell tricky words such as "Mississippi" is no longer important (the program will tell you), but you need to be able to distinguish between, for example, "lose" and "loose", "affect" and "effect", "its" and "it's". I see the wrong word used in these pairs very often.
    _________________________
    "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle." - George Orwell

    Top
    #165838 - 08/29/13 04:53 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Quote:
    sgraphia is basically a challenge with developing automaticity - dysgraphic people need to repeat repeat repeat and repeat again to learn skills that take neurotypical kids very little repetition to become automatic. This shows up most often in handwriting, but that challenge with needing to repeat repeat repeat because of lack of automaticity can show up in other areas like spelling. And that's what spell check and word prediction gives my ds - he sees the words spelled correctly more often and over a much longer extended period of time than with a spelling test


    Interesting. Thanks for the insight on all of this! As a natural speller whose oldest child is a natural speller and a prolific and talented writer, I have no insight into any of this. I may need it (not sure), because my younger child doesn't seem to be quite the same. His oral spelling is amazing--really--for 5, but when he writes he makes a lot of mistakes. Of course, he's FIVE--but it's a bit concerning to see the gap between what he "knows" orally and what happens when pencil meets paper. We'll see. DD never had this gap, even at 5. What was in her head was what came out on the paper. But she has always had incredible fine motor skills.

    Top
    #165848 - 08/29/13 06:38 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    My DD8 aces her spelling tests with very little effort, but then misspells easy words when she sits down to write. This is, I am sure, because her school encouraged "inventive spelling" at the very beginning, and she's still falling back on that habit, due to laziness. And the more often she writes a word badly, the more deeply the bad spelling is etched into her brain. At some point, it can be assumed, they're going to hold her accountable for spelling, after they've spent years setting her up for failure in this regard.

    I would be very much in favor of her using technology that checks but does not correct spelling, because she would get the chance to write words correctly, over and over again, and reverse the damage.

    Quote:
    Why learn to spell if the machine will do it for you?


    The machine I'm typing on is very little help at all for spelling, because work communications consist of too much jargon, command syntax, etc. that are unrecognizable to any dictionary. When you're overloaded with false negatives, it quickly becomes habit to ignore them all.

    Top
    #165851 - 08/29/13 07:09 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Dude]
    geofizz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/06/10
    Posts: 658
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    My DD8 aces her spelling tests with very little effort, but then misspells easy words when she sits down to write. This is, I am sure, because her school encouraged "inventive spelling" at the very beginning, and she's still falling back on that habit, due to laziness.


    In defense of your daughter, I wouldn't place this as laziness. One thing I've learned in my parenting & spelling adventure in the last few years, is that the brain needs for composing a message and the brain needs for constructing the spelling come from different parts of the brain. If one part of the brain is taxed or if it's too hard for her to switch gears repeatedly, then she can choose to compose the message or spell it right. Slow switching was described to me as my daugther's issue. I see "too taxed to do anything else" as my son's related issues.

    We've noticed around here that starting in 2nd grade, and more intensely in 3rd, the kids are taught to go back and identify which words are wrong, and see if they can fix them then. This then lets the kid focus on spelling as a distinct step.

    I am not a natural speller. I think it's important to spell accurately without spell check. My lecture hall's chalk board is decidedly lacking in that regard, but also because it increases the number of errors I need to find in my writing. Either autocorrect introduces errors (the typo 'i t' almost always gets autocorrected to "I") that I then have to find, or I have more opportunities to miss an error in my writing.

    I've learned to spell, however, though the old-style MS Word spell check. The spell checker flags it, then I need to find it off a list of suggestions. When I started doing that, I'd often also need a dictionary, since my initial spelling was too far off. I can now almost exclusively just fix the spelling for everything underlined in red. My spelling continues to improve, however, decades after leaving school.

    Top
    #165855 - 08/29/13 07:42 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: polarbear]
    knute974 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/22/09
    Posts: 683
    Loc: controlled chaos
    Originally Posted By: polarbear

    Dysgraphic kids like my ds can sometimes memorize spelling words for spelling tests and do really well - my ds routinely aced all of his spelling tests, but he didn't retain memory of what he studied for spelling tests once the week was past (note - this is not the same for all dysgraphic people). Dysgraphia is basically a challenge with developing automaticity - dysgraphic people need to repeat repeat repeat and repeat again to learn skills that take neurotypical kids very little repetition to become automatic. This shows up most often in handwriting, but that challenge with needing to repeat repeat repeat because of lack of automaticity can show up in other areas like spelling. And that's what spell check and word prediction gives my ds - he sees the words spelled correctly more often and over a much longer extended period of time than with a spelling test - and as he's worked with the tools over the years, I've seen that his ability to spell is improving.

    So true. Polarbear, I loved your whole post.

    When my dysgraphic DD sees those angry red lines under something misspelled, she pulls up a list of options and has to think about which one looks right. From her comments, in part, she is looking at the shape of the word to figure out if it looks right. I think that this is an example of how her brain pulls from one of her strength areas to compensate for that lack of automaticity. She has about 95% accuracy picking out the correct option when she sees the list of suggestions. Sometimes she isn't close enough so none of the suggested options are correct and she knows that the right one isn't there. Spellcheck does not solve the problem of homophones -- and DD finds ones that I never dreamed of.

    Used to be totally snarky about poor spelling too before I had DD. I used to think that it displayed a lack of intelligence and/or laziness. I can assure that nothing could be further from the truth with my DD (and my husband for that matter, yep it's genetic). I think that it is hard for someone who hasn't seen one of these kids to grasp how burdensome the lack of automaticity can be. For example, last year DD hand wrote a bunch of journal entries by a Mayflower passenger. She wrote her draft and I helped her correct spelling errors before she wrote her final. In her final draft, she corrected the misspelled words successfully because she was hyperfocused on them. Unfortunately, she then misspelled a whole bunch of words that she had spelled correctly in the first version even though she was working from her own draft where she herself had spelled them correctly. She is not being lazy. She is working super hard and is very hard on herself when she realizes these types of mistakes. When she types, she doesn't have this problem. If she gets it right, she can leave it alone.

    Top
    #165874 - 08/29/13 09:03 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: master of none]
    ljoy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/28/11
    Posts: 269
    Originally Posted By: master of none
    He has a circuitous method of spelling by memorizing the number of letters and some of the key letters and their position relative to the other letters.


    Oh my. You just described my DD. Maybe not for spelling - we haven't talked about that - but for her whole life: where things in her room belong, where we are in multi-day schedules, directions to get somewhere. Pretty much any statement involving 'know' and 'where'.

    Top
    #165887 - 08/29/13 10:44 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Quote:
    My DD8 aces her spelling tests with very little effort, but then misspells easy words when she sits down to write. This is, I am sure, because her school encouraged "inventive spelling" at the very beginning, and she's still falling back on that habit, due to laziness.


    I don't know if I'd blame your DD either. It STILL seems to be the case that no one cares about DD9's spelling (maybe this will change this year in 4th), and yes, she was encouraged, sometimes almost forcibly, to use invented spelling. But she's a great speller. In other words, despite the school failing to instruct her, this is a very strong skill for her.

    I think it is inborn, almost like perfect pitch. I do think you can improve it, though. And no, I don't think not having it means that you're dumb.

    Top
    #165895 - 08/29/13 11:19 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: master of none]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: master of none
    Another factor, at least for my dysgraphic, is that he says that he can actually know how to spell a word, but can't make his hand write it. His hand automatically wants to write something else, so he has to double check and see what his hand did.


    This happens with my ds too. Same thing happens with whole words sometimes. And math... aagh... happens all the time with numbers!

    And checking his work for mistakes.... it's a really good idea in theory, but in practice he usually ends up making more mistakes on the things that were correct to begin with (spelling or numbers)...

    polarbear

    Top
    #165897 - 08/29/13 11:28 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: ultramarina]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Quote:
    My DD8 aces her spelling tests with very little effort, but then misspells easy words when she sits down to write. This is, I am sure, because her school encouraged "inventive spelling" at the very beginning, and she's still falling back on that habit, due to laziness.


    I also wouldn't assume this is due to the approach of letting early writers use inventive spelling - the act of writing involves so many more brain-steps than the act of writing down one word at a time on a spelling test.

    How easy are the words she misses when she's writing? Are they words that follow spelling rules and are able to be phonetically sounded out, or are they sight words with odd spelling and pronunciations? Does she mispell the same words all the time, or are the misspellings random and she gets the same words correct sometimes?

    Are you wondering why I asked all of that? I would just watch this a little bit rather than assuming it's laziness or lack of trying or being 8 and having been intro'd to writing through inventive spelling. Chances are it's *not* what's up, but acing spelling tests yet having difficulty spelling while writing *can* be a symptom of an LD.

    It can also mean she's just not naturally a good speller smile Or it can mean she's just 8 and she's just learning and her brain is swamped with the ideas she's writing about or with figuring out punctuation or grammar etc.

    I'll also add that all three of my kids had teachers with very different approaches to early writing - one was with teachers who were very into inventive spelling; one was in a school where proper spelling and spelling tests were emphasized; and dysgraphic ds did his best to never put pencil to paper in early elementary when the other kids were being encouraged to use inventive spelling. None of my children were able to spell well while writing at 8. Most of them still can't without spell-check smile

    Best wishes,

    polarbear

    Top
    #165901 - 08/29/13 11:52 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    And to be fair, I'll add that my DD is an anomaly even in her GT magnet (I've seen all the kids' writing when I helped in class, so I know). Only one or two other kids can spell as well. Some had really terrible spelling and mechanics despite writing nice complex sentences with interesting ideas.

    I typed some of these papers up, and it was instructive to note how differently some papers read with spelling corrected and with handwriting out of the picture. It made me realize how we are influenced by these not terribly important factors.

    Top
    #165902 - 08/29/13 11:53 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: ultramarina]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: ultramarina
    Quote:
    My DD8 aces her spelling tests with very little effort, but then misspells easy words when she sits down to write. This is, I am sure, because her school encouraged "inventive spelling" at the very beginning, and she's still falling back on that habit, due to laziness.


    I don't know if I'd blame your DD either. It STILL seems to be the case that no one cares about DD9's spelling (maybe this will change this year in 4th), and yes, she was encouraged, sometimes almost forcibly, to use invented spelling. But she's a great speller. In other words, despite the school failing to instruct her, this is a very strong skill for her.

    I think it is inborn, almost like perfect pitch. I do think you can improve it, though. And no, I don't think not having it means that you're dumb.



    Exactly. DD and I both have it. DH doesn't. DD and I also have the pitch gene, too-- not "perfect" per se-- but very very good naturally.

    I've noticed that my natural spelling skills have atrophied significantly since coming to rely upon automatic spell-checking, actually.

    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    Top
    #165914 - 08/29/13 01:33 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Fair points, polarbear.

    In my DD's case, I tend to be led by my own experience, primarily because DD has demonstrated time and time again that the way she learns is identical to my own processes. Because she has parents who are far more involved, and she lives in a much more stimulating environment, she hits mental milestones well ahead of where I did. So, anywhere that she's behind where I was at the same age, it stands out... and there's usually a reason behind it.

    The only other time something like this caught my attention, she had just turned five, and was still not reading an entire (age-appropriate) book aloud, or silently to herself. DW and I knew she was capable, because she'd read words/short phrases on signs or menus, some of them pretty impressive. I appealed to her pride... "You're ahead of me in every way, except one... I was reading aloud to my mom when I was 4." She read aloud to her mom within the week. By the time a month had passed, she was reading daily to her pre-K class. That clinched it... there was no issue of ability at play, just perfectionism and fear of failure, which she finally overcame.

    So, with that in mind... when I was 8, I won a district award for an essay. I still remember what it was about. And I remember that I didn't have any problems with spelling.

    In DD's case, what's different is the amount of written output beginning in K. We did not journal every day, beginning in K. We wrote letters, then words, then simple sentences, and then paragraphs, in K-2. They were graded for grammar and spelling. We progressed to short stories in 3rd.

    As I've said, DD learns the same way I do, which has caused me to joke that I have the user's manual to her brain (she says, "That's creepy"). The act of writing something down practically inscribes it into my brain (for instance, I find great value in taking notes, and then never again looking at them). In her place, if I were writing using inventive spelling, I would be inscribing that spelling into my brain... and it takes far more effort to unlearn an incorrect thing than to learn it correctly in the first place. This method would be toxic to me. In her output, I'm seeing exactly what I would expect to see, had I been put in her place.

    In her place, I would be ANGRY, because something that should have been easy, had it been taught correctly, will now be something difficult. At some point, someone is going to hold her accountable for spelling correctly. And given her perfectionist personality, that likely won't go well. I would really hate to see her decide she's a bad writer based on this, because in every way except spelling, she's a natural.

    Top
    #165919 - 08/29/13 02:34 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1694
    Loc: Australia
    I can see where both polarbear and dude are coming from with this. I am one of those whose hands are much harder to control when handwriting than typing, handwriting IS a barrier to spelling for me. Conversely I see the damage done to my kids through the "anything goes" approach to writing in early grades here "because we just want them to write SOMETHING".

    My handwriting problem is genetic, I have a connective tissue disorder, all three of my kids have it, due to LDs my eldest didn't start meaningfully writing until about 3rd grade, when her school were also finally heavily focused on handwriting. Her handwriting is ok. Second child was encouraged to do the "anything goes" from 3.5-4, and she also loved to write, she wrote before she could read, she's required intensive therapy to correct her handwriting, it's kind of worked, she's made astonishing progress with her output, but her grip is still a disaster and she's probably going to need keyboard use quite young. Youngest child is 3.5, despite my warnings about her hands her Monti preschool have gently taught her the most beautiful grip and she's learning to write correctly from the start.

    I don't yet know if my eldest will cope with producing volumes of writing at speed without pain, or if my youngest will continue to develop well with handwriting, I don't know if their hand problems will be equal or different in adulthood. But right now I am deeply resentful of the way middle child's preschool and early teachers approached handwriting because I suspect she's going to have the worst outcome despite possibly not having any greater physical disability.

    It's hard for me to judge how handwriting and spelling intersects for my kids as the eldest is severely dyslexic and the middle child is not AND has 20 points on the eldest in verbal IQ, and way more than that in WMI, which shows. The youngest cant read so I can hardly judge her spelling.

    Top
    #165922 - 08/29/13 02:55 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: Dude

    As I've said, DD learns the same way I do, which has caused me to joke that I have the user's manual to her brain (she says, "That's creepy"). The act of writing something down practically inscribes it into my brain (for instance, I find great value in taking notes, and then never again looking at them). In her place, if I were writing using inventive spelling, I would be inscribing that spelling into my brain... and it takes far more effort to unlearn an incorrect thing than to learn it correctly in the first place. This method would be toxic to me. In her output, I'm seeing exactly what I would expect to see, had I been put in her place.


    YES!!

    Right down to the "creepy" part. I think DD phrases it as; "Get... out.... of... my.... head..." grin

    I feel very fortunate that because DD wasn't placed into a classroom setting at 5-8yo, she never learned "invented spelling" as a thing. She simply wasn't ever told that it was an option.

    Because I have the user's manual to her brain, see... wink
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    Top
    #165924 - 08/29/13 03:03 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1694
    Loc: Australia
    Just clarifying what I mean by "anything goes as long as they write something", my state's schools not only encourage inventive spelling but also feel kids should write however they like and on blank paper for the first few years. Teaching pencil grip or using lined paper makes it "too hard" to get started and its most important that they "just write something"... So handwriting AND spelling are ignored. And grammar, punctuation and everything else of course. As long as they write something....

    Top
    #165926 - 08/29/13 03:12 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: MumOfThree]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: MumOfThree
    Just clarifying what I mean by "anything goes as long as they write something", my state's schools not only encourage inventive spelling but also feel kids should write however they like and on blank paper for the first few years. Teaching pencil grip or using lined paper makes it "too hard" to get started and its most important that they "just write something"... So handwriting AND spelling are ignored. And grammar, punctuation and everything else of course. As long as they write something....


    Yes, this is what DD's schools have done to her, as well.

    I guess the point of the exercise is a feel-good experience.

    Top
    #165927 - 08/29/13 03:19 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    Sounds like anything-goes spelling is a candidate for HK's rogue's gallery of bad educational practices.

    Top
    #165930 - 08/29/13 03:42 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Dandy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/12/08
    Posts: 574
    We learned that our school was pushing for $$$ to get an iPad into the hands of every 4th/5th/6th grade student. Arghh.

    I've worked in & around technology, including the computerization of untold number of accounting & p.o.s. systems for small businesses. I'm definitely pro-tech... but the idea of spending the $$$ on the iPads? Not liking it.

    YES, kids can benefit from access to computers in school, especially those who have difficulty as many here have shared. But I have trouble believing that kids can benefit from having this device plunked in their lap for most or all (!) of the day.

    After the announcement from our school that included an outline of the various fundraisers that would contribute to the project, I recalled a lecture by Clifford Stoll that I saw on C-SPAN 20+ years ago. Short version: he's not a fan of the idea! Couldn't find the original, but this is an interview on the same topic:
    http://vimeo.com/20384187
    The topic really gets going at 2:26

    I tried talking with the lead teacher and principal but they are not interested in hearing any dissent. Just for fun, I asked what measurable goals they expect to achieve as a result of the expenditure. "Goals? What are these things you call goals?"

    Meanwhile, the music program is still broke and is only open to 6th graders with the money to buy/rent their own instruments. The library has very limited hours ever since the union forced the school to prohibit parent volunteers. The school grounds are in a constant state of disrepair because... the same cheerful union balked at the horrible parent volunteers stepping in to fix up the joint. Simply amazing.

    But by all means, lets get the gadgetry in the hands of every child.
    _________________________
    Being offended is a natural consequence of leaving the house. - Fran Lebowitz

    Top
    #165931 - 08/29/13 04:02 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: Val
    Sounds like anything-goes spelling is a candidate for HK's rogue's gallery of bad educational practices.


    Well, maybe not for all kids- but yes, for some of them, I'd say so.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    Top
    #165933 - 08/29/13 04:51 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1694
    Loc: Australia
    Perhaps it works better for boys? I note that Dude, HK and I are all parents of girls.

    Though I personally don't see how it helps anyone to have to unlearn bad habits.


    Edited by MumOfThree (08/29/13 04:52 PM)

    Top
    #165934 - 08/29/13 05:14 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Well, it doesn't seem to have affected my female child one way or the other. She just used to get aggravated with her teachers when they wouldn't tell her how to spell things. "Just TELL me how to spell it. I KNOW this isn't how you spell it." Knowing my DD, they eventually gave up and told her. wink

    To be fair, they taught her pencil grip, punctuation, capitals, etc and she has always used lined paper. But spelling was not, and still is not, an emphasis. She did have spelling words starting in 1st. She has never gotten one wrong.

    Top
    #165937 - 08/29/13 06:39 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2499
    MON, those concerns are legitimate. Academic content providers cross-pollinate in games, apps, and consumer packaged goods. The proliferation of iPads in schools enables them to carry out direct to consumer (DTC) marketing targeted at children while in class, a market traditionally accessible only by food and book providers. It's disturbing, because it marks a shift into a more overt consumerist mindset in education.

    This line of thought is not to undermine the many benefits of improved technology in the classroom, but rather to highlight the ideology driving the change. Shall we say, this idea wasn't cooked up in education circles.

    As with anything, success lies in how the trade off is balanced. I'd be impressed if policy makers were swift to enact DTC and branding embargoes on devices used in the classroom. It's just another marketing channel; such limits would be directly analogous to current DTC restrictions on TV.
    _________________________
    What is to give light must endure burning.

    Top
    #165946 - 08/30/13 02:14 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: master of none]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: master of none
    The kids do have their IPAD all day every day. They are supposed to carry it around at all times. And they are supposed to take it home and use it for homework. It has become the primary means of doing anything and everything. It makes the interface between kid and machine and reduces the role of parent and teacher.


    This really hasn't happened at our school at all - yes, the students use their iPads as their primary means of writing, putting together project data/etc, taking notes, etc and yes, the iPads are with them for all their classes except PE and music - but it doesn't decrease "face time" or interaction with teachers and other students. The type of things it has replaced are writing in a notebook or on a piece of paper, pasting papers on a poster board, reading from a book, etc.

    I also don't feel it's reduced my role as a parent in any way - I still interact with my ds about what's happened at school each day, I help him with homework when he needs it etc.

    The place where I see computer technology potentially cutting into my ds' life is access to games where he becomes so engrossed that he doesn't want to come up for air and join the rest of us in the real world - but that is far different from the role the iPads play at school and in homework.

    polarbear

    Top
    #165947 - 08/30/13 02:15 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: polarbear]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: polarbear
    Originally Posted By: master of none
    The kids do have their IPAD all day every day. They are supposed to carry it around at all times. And they are supposed to take it home and use it for homework. It has become the primary means of doing anything and everything. It makes the interface between kid and machine and reduces the role of parent and teacher.


    This really hasn't happened at our school at all - yes, the students use their iPads as their primary means of writing, putting together project data/etc, taking notes, etc and yes, the iPads are with them for all their classes except PE and music - but it doesn't decrease "face time" or interaction with teachers and other students. The type of things it has replaced are writing in a notebook or on a piece of paper, pasting papers on a poster board, reading from a book, etc. The iPads are closed more often than they are open, even though the kids use them in all of their classes every day.

    I also don't feel it's reduced my role as a parent in any way - I still interact with my ds about what's happened at school each day, I help him with homework when he needs it etc.

    The place where I see computer technology potentially cutting into my ds' life is access to games where he becomes so engrossed that he doesn't want to come up for air and join the rest of us in the real world - but that is far different from the role the iPads play at school and in homework.

    polarbear

    Top
    #165948 - 08/30/13 05:24 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: polarbear]
    DeeDee Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/10
    Posts: 2498
    Originally Posted By: polarbear

    The place where I see computer technology potentially cutting into my ds' life is access to games where he becomes so engrossed that he doesn't want to come up for air and join the rest of us in the real world - but that is far different from the role the iPads play at school and in homework.

    polarbear


    Yup. And I am increasingly seeing the benefit of teaching the kid to manage this before sending him out into the world to do college or have a job. Unchecked, gaming would be a major threat to my DS's ability to operate in the world... better that he learn to control the habit than that we just don't let him see it.

    DeeDee

    Top
    #167333 - 09/12/13 05:19 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2635
    Loc: MA
    Ability grouping and subject acceleration could be used to tailor the curriculum to students' interests and learning speeds, but since those practices are not politically correct, let's give them all tablets.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/15/magazine/no-child-left-untableted.html
    No Child Left Untableted
    By CARLO ROTELLA
    New York Times
    September 12, 2013

    Quote:
    When I asked Klein, who routinely characterizes current debates about education as “ideological, not evidence-based,” what evidence supports spending tax dollars on educational technology, he boiled it down to three things. First and most important was the power of “customizing.” Plenty of research does indeed show that an individual student will learn more if you can tailor the curriculum to match her learning style, pace and interests; the tablet, he said, will help teachers do that. Second, educators have not taken full advantage of students’ enthusiasm for the gadgetry that constitutes “an important part of their experience.” Lastly, teachers feel overwhelmed; they “need tools,” Klein said, to meet ever-increasing demands to show that their students are making progress.

    Amplify has tested preliminary versions of its tablets and curriculum in a dozen small pilot programs, but Guilford County is its first paying customer. By next fall the company intends to have its products in middle schools across the country, with high schools and perhaps elementary schools to follow. Competition for this market is growing more intense. Major competitors — like Apple’s iPad — are scrambling to get in on the sales bonanza created by what educators call “1:1 technology programs,” those that provide a device to every student and teacher. And so potential customers — 99,000 K-12 schools spend $17 billion annually on instructional materials and technology — will be looking closely at Guilford County, a district with a modest budget and a mix of urban, suburban and rural sections that makes it a plausible proxy for school systems nationwide. They will want to see teachers’ enthusiasm for the tablets, as well as increased “time on task” and other signs of students’ greater engagement. Most important, of course, they’ll be looking for higher test scores in two or three years.

    Top
    #167334 - 09/12/13 05:35 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Quote:
    Ability grouping and subject acceleration could be used to tailor the curriculum to students' interests and learning speeds, but since those practices are not politically correct,


    You know, we had a discussion a while ago about whether the tide is turning on this, and I have something to contribute on that. DD's K teacher has explained that during work time, there is color-coded (harder) work in math and reading boxes that he knows is for him. He also is in math and reading groups that meet with the teacher individually (I think his reading group has only two kids in it). When I expressed great gratitude for this--DD9 got no differentiation at all in K other than a few things we nagged for, like workbooks we brought in--she said "Oh, we all do it this way now. (DS) needs even more, but the grouping is standard." He also gets harder homework, which I think one other child also gets.


    Top
    #167823 - 09/16/13 07:42 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    75west Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/11/11
    Posts: 471
    Digital technology could help with ability grouping and subject acceleration to tailor the curriculum = and those practices are not politically correct, but I agree that the tide is hopefully changing. You've got a lot of parents becoming more vocal about rote-based learning, the OCD situation with standards, testing, uniformity, and the one-size-fits-all approach.

    Why is the focus on iPads and not on the use of free/open source digital technology to tailoring learning and make it more engaging and relevant? I agree that there are lot of issues with swapping textbooks for iPads. Must be the political backhand deals and lack of transparency in procuring digital technology (hardware or software) that I've been seeing.

    I don't understand why public schools are not embracing free/open source digital technology though because this is one the ways they can accommodate the wide range of learners (we're not all linguistic learners), abilities, interests, and cultural/ socioeconomic differences -- and most importantly those with special needs and 2e kids (who are presently often denied accommodations and differentiation in the public schools).

    If the public schools ditched the textbooks and used free/open source, then my 2e/pg 7.5-yr-old son might have a chance of being accommodated. They don't and cannot at the moment. Instead I'm un/homeschooling him as a result. Then again, I don't the public schools truly understand how fundamentally society is about to change with digital technology.

    Parents and teachers are supposed to offer guidance to children based on their experience and supposedly wisdom that comes with age. If teachers or schools can not help children learn when to switch on/off computers, then what hope do we have with the public schools? Does no one stop and think or see the big picture here?

    Top
    #167833 - 09/16/13 08:00 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    *never mind--linking to the piece Bostonian already linked to!


    Edited by ultramarina (09/16/13 08:01 AM)

    Top
    #167854 - 09/16/13 08:37 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    ljoy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/28/11
    Posts: 269
    WOW. So if you don't make the cutoff for GT, you just have to show you aren't on track to graduate to get into the class?? That may be the policy showing the very least comprehension of any I've ever heard of.
    (Not to say that some environments tailored for GT/2E couldn't work well for both. But in middle school, in an existing GT program, that's unlikely.)

    Top
    #167868 - 09/16/13 09:11 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    75west Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/11/11
    Posts: 471
    I get so angry when I hear this.

    Universal Design for Learning (http://www.udlcenter.org/) and other organizations that should be helping 2e parents and g/t community with getting the curriculum to fit the child rather than banging our heads have made little difference it seems. All research being conducted with Joan Cooney Ganz's center (http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/) seems to be flying out the door too. All the research and data on moving away from the mass industrial education machine too is being thrown out the window.

    Instead, I'm reading reports about iPads and other proprietary hardware/software being pushing through without any thought or plan for the sake of improving competitiveness, test scores, and performance-based results (and a company's profits and revenues). It's scandalous.

    Top
    #169075 - 09/25/13 12:26 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Here's a further update on how that billion-dollar LAUSD iPad project was engineered for failure: Link

    Quote:
    It took exactly one week for nearly 300 students at Theodore Roosevelt High School to hack through security so they could surf the Web on their new school-issued iPads

    Top
    #169079 - 09/25/13 12:40 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Dude]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Is anyone really surprised by this turn of events? Some students in our district apparently had them unlocked/hacked by the end of the first day of class-- at least at the middle school level.

    My DD has rewritten an Avenue Q song about that, Dude. But it's probably not family-friendly enough to post here.

    Well, perhaps without the chorus, it would be okay.

    My new iPad is really, really great
    --For {response}
    with wireless connection, I don't have to wait!
    --For {response}
    I browse the school-day through;
    --For {response}
    there's always something new!
    --Like {response}
    School's now expanding my worldview...


    Because "your new iPad is for..."

    well, learning. But other things that can be found on the internet, too. wink





    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    Top
    #169083 - 09/25/13 01:02 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    One of the teachers at my kids' school uses iPads for a variety of things during class. She's obviously working very hard to make good use of them. The saving of paper is nice, and nothing (except the iPad) can get lost. So that's good. The kids can also use their iPads to access their homework assignments via the school's online system. But they can also do that at home with a computer. But I'm not sure what anyone else does with them. The math teacher doesn't use them at all.

    I don't see the value, personally.

    I mentioned that I found a great French dictionary that would be very useful for French class. It was cheap ($4, I think). But the teacher I was talking to told me that school iPads are all connected to a single account and that the dictionary might end up costing more if you buy it for x iPads. Apparently a lot of apps are more expensive if you buy them for a lot of people. Has anyone else heard this?




    Edited by Val (09/25/13 01:05 PM)

    Top
    #169093 - 09/25/13 01:36 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Right-- you have to site-license for anyone that has access to download, basically. If the school has ONE account, then all content is available (theoretically) to everyone on the network. The alternative is building specific pages to act as content gateways, and recognizing individual devices by ID and governing what content is permitted for the device.

    I know this because Pearson/Connections uses this kind of model and so we've gotten used to some of the peculiarities of DRM and how the work-arounds have to operate in order to pinch pennies. It's cheaper for them to send textbooks to math tutors than it is to provide them with the links to the iTexts, or at least some of the time it works out that way. I'm not entirely sure if the reason is number of downloads, or if it's number of unique IP's, but either way, it leads to weirdness.


    I also know that I can get to things that theoretically are only available to staff-- if I know the URL, that is. So it's not IP governing access. It's controlling who gets the link.

    In an app-store model, that doesn't work. Because a third-party is the content host.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    Top
    #169094 - 09/25/13 01:37 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    SiaSL Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/11/10
    Posts: 320
    Originally Posted By: Val
    I don't see the value, personally.


    Well, clearly it teaches (some) kids mad hacking skills.
    Or something.

    Re. being able to access the curriculum just as well from home with a computer, that's wouldn't be a valid assumption at our (Title I) school. Some kids would have to walk 10 blocks to the public library, which only has a very limited number of computers in the children's section anyway.

    As for iPads being procured through very, very expensive channels... yes. Looks like some people are making a lot of money on that right now.

    But. I have seen piles of donated computers figuratively rotting away, unused, in our district, because there are only 2 IT techs available to manage all computers on 10 different sites (district office, school admin, teachers' laptops, classroom computers in elementary and middle school, computer labs, computer carts...). The bottleneck is *not* the hardware. iPads are pretty black-boxy, but you still need somebody to research and load apps, handle returns for malfunctions and breakage, and reload/update/reimage the content. Some school districts might be better than ours at managing this (there are many other jobs available at better pay/promise of IPO money for skilled techs around here), but it needs to be taken care of... or outsourced, at a significant price.

    Top
    #169097 - 09/25/13 01:52 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    What really kind of drives me bonkers about this is that wireless devices are prone to extensive abuse-- but there are e-readers out there that are rugged and NOT wireless.

    I know because we have a pair of them. They have to be loaded with content, sure. But that also prevents them being used for other purposes like websurfing and social media.

    They are compatible with EPUB formatting, including everything on Project Gutenberg, and not a little from public libraries with digital collections.

    I get that there is now research suggesting that hey, e-readers are not identical to paper-based reading, and that for some kids that is a good thing (on the other hand, if we're willing to believe that conclusion, then kids on the other end of that particular spectrum are probably HARMED by a paperless model, right?).

    I'm just not yet ready to believe that wireless, web-capable mobile devices are a good substitute for the other things that used to be going on in classrooms.

    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    Top
    #169104 - 09/25/13 02:43 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    What really kind of drives me bonkers about this is that wireless devices are prone to extensive abuse-- but there are e-readers out there that are rugged and NOT wireless.


    It's not so much that it's a wireless device (you can do just as much damage wired), as it is the fact that it's a fully-functional tablet PC running an operating system designed for phones. It was intended to be a personal device, meaning it has one user, the owner. The idea of provisioning permissions never entered the design.

    Nobody at Cupertino will tell you it's a bad idea to hand kids raised in the digital age a device that they can reconfigure or factory reset, because there's too much money in it for them to pretend it's the right tool for the job.

    Top
    #169113 - 09/25/13 03:39 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Hmm.. yeah, well, I'm also not a fan of proprietary formatting that drives cashflow.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    Top
    #169160 - 09/26/13 06:59 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    More fun on that story... apparently LAUSD rushed to appropriate and spend that $1B without addressing basic questions like, "Who is responsible?" Link

    This bit cracked me up, because it shouldn't be hard to find a Spanish-language translator somewhere in LAUSD:

    Quote:
    At least three different parent information forms have been circulated, according to Ratliff's office. And the Spanish form was a computer-generated translation that was substantially incomprehensible

    Top
    #169178 - 09/26/13 08:48 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Dude]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    Oh dear. Edumacators strike again.

    I like this bit:

    Quote:
    At least one form required a signature acknowledging that a parent is financially responsible if a student breaks or loses the device. The idea was that students would not receive an iPad until the signed form was returned.

    ...


    And what if low-income families, who make up most of the school system, can't afford to take responsibility for a device that is supposed to replace student textbooks?


    Books are cheaper. And no one wants to steal a fourth grade math book. Not even another fourth grader.

    Top
    #169190 - 09/26/13 09:32 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    Having to print from your iPad is a argument against having iPads. The teacher should just print stuff out and give it to the kids.

    Top
    #169194 - 09/26/13 09:40 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Mk13 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/20/12
    Posts: 761
    I just read something that our district has on its website and we seem to be moving in a direction where they want every student to be using a laptop, ipad or tablet at school. Supposedly they tested it with our 7th graders this past spring. So my guess would be they want the kid to bring whatever is available at home and use that so the school does not have to be paying big $ for ipads or other technology nor be responsible for replacements and it will be all the kids' responsibility. Which, honestly, I'm fine with. I'd rather the kids take something they prefer that is not as expensive than the school iPads.

    Top
    #169286 - 09/26/13 07:03 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Mk13]
    Sweetie Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/05/11
    Posts: 669
    Originally Posted By: Mk13
    I just read something that our district has on its website and we seem to be moving in a direction where they want every student to be using a laptop, ipad or tablet at school. Supposedly they tested it with our 7th graders this past spring. So my guess would be they want the kid to bring whatever is available at home and use that so the school does not have to be paying big $ for ipads or other technology nor be responsible for replacements and it will be all the kids' responsibility. Which, honestly, I'm fine with. I'd rather the kids take something they prefer that is not as expensive than the school iPads.


    Our middle school doesn't have lockers and you have to use a mesh or clear vinyl back pack (talk about no support in either of those two options). Um what if you need to lock up your devise? The PE locker rooms have lockers but 99% don't use locks because the combinations are too hard to manage and they can't get help from the coaches with the locks and what is the point if you tell a friend the combination to help you with it.
    _________________________
    ...reading is pleasure, not just something teachers make you do in school.~B. Cleary

    Top
    #170426 - 10/06/13 08:47 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Atlantic Feature: "Students are Hacking their School-Issued iPads-- Good for Them"

    Quote:

    Even though much of their unfettered iPad usage in these recently publicized “hacking” cases involved, as The LA Times put it “non-schoolwork” and as NPR dismissed it “entertainment,” it’s important to recognize how students do learn with technology. It isn’t simply a matter of a digital version of analog lessons and readings—something implicitly presumed by the Los Angeles’s school system's plan to “limit the tablets, when taken home, to curricular materials from the Pearson corporation, which are already installed."


    Interesting indeed. So-- Apple exclusive licensing, paired with Pearson exclusive content on those devices. Wonder how much THAT is costing...



    And in reading the comments to the article above (which makes some interesting observations, including the one I posted above), I also tumbled into this blog post:

    http://alpharetta.patch.com/groups/elizabeth-hoopers-blog/p/common-core-a-gift-to-the-tech-industry
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    Top
    #170437 - 10/06/13 10:50 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Mana Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/17/12
    Posts: 882
    I understand all the reasons against it but I got to say, I am a walking catalogue of learning difficulties (ADHD, CAPD, hypoglycemia, DCD, dyslexia, ESL, etc) and I wouldn't want to be without my iPad.

    Top
    #172103 - 10/20/13 10:12 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    bluemagic Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    IPads CAN be used well in the classroom. But most teachers don't have the skill to do this. Or the correct software. I remember when my son was in 2nd grade and "computers" was the kids learning to login to the computer and play some "edutainment" games that I as a parent volunteer supervised. It was a complete joke.

    On the other hand is his 6th grade gifted class they used ipads (they had just come out) & netbooks to do some very creative projects. The teacher was able to get the school to put in wifi to his classroom, and the kids were using technology is very creative ways.

    As a programmer I've thought about this issue extensively. How best to use technology in the classroom. My experience it is mostly used as a research tool or for writing assignments.

    A good example of "failed" technology. Is my kids high school invested in these smart boards with cool "remotes" for the kids. Ideally this allowed for many free form instant quizzes, and could give teachers instant feedback to how well the whole class was grasping material. Unfortunately the remotes needed batteries, and a few in every class always needed new ones and they couldn't be used. It only took a few weeks for the teachers to give up..

    IMO you need to settle on the SOFTWARE before you invest in the technology. There is a lot of good software for IPads but one should figure out how you want the kids to use the technology and to make sure the teachers are properly trained FIRST.

    Top
    #172127 - 10/21/13 06:47 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: bluemagic]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: bluemagic
    IMO you need to settle on the SOFTWARE before you invest in the technology. There is a lot of good software for IPads but one should figure out how you want the kids to use the technology and to make sure the teachers are properly trained FIRST.


    IMO, software isn't even the first consideration. First and foremost is, "What do you want your students to be able to DO?" This question precedes hardware and software choices, because those decisions flow from the previous one.

    This iPad roll-out could have been a success if all they wanted to do was provide the children with access to Google using the least-expensive and most-accessible hardware, and they had bothered to answer all the legal and technical questions that flowed from that particular choice of hardware.

    Note that there's been no discussion of software at this point. Once an investment has already been made in the hardware, THEN the further exploitation of it through additional software is a worthwhile conversation.

    Top
    #172151 - 10/21/13 09:09 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Bluemagic--Yes! That is where I am coming down on this issue, too. And ITA on the uselessness of "computers" being 20 minutes of edutainment.

    We just got smartphones (yes, just) and the thing I am excited about my DD using is this:

    http://www.creatorverse.com/

    Everything else she's been doing so far I consider pure frippery--not that frippery is bad, in its place. Interestingly, though, Creatorverse is her favorite "game." (She thinks it's a game and I'm not going to argue.)

    Top
    #172155 - 10/21/13 09:25 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    NotSoGifted Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/14/12
    Posts: 451
    I don't know that the cost of iPads can be justified, but my 10th grader was issued one at school this year. They just started the program last year - looks like they will issue them in 10th and kids will use them through 12th grade.

    Aside from the fact that the school IT gurus "fixed" her iPad (one app would not download/work) and gave it back to her with five apps not working, it is going okay. Last year, the kids did some pretty neat multimedia stuff in the honors/AP/gifted classes. I also now see the use of Skype - my kid was able to collaborate on a group project yesterday afternoon without going over to another kid's home - they all could chat/view materials wherever they happened to be.

    Likely not worth the cost, but then again this is a wealthy school district. Last year when my eldest applied for a need-based college scholarship granted through the high school, the application asked for the value and mortgage on both our primary residence and our vacation home (umm...we don't have a vacation home, but plenty of families around here do).

    Top
    #172157 - 10/21/13 09:51 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: ultramarina]
    Zen Scanner Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    Originally Posted By: ultramarina
    Everything else she's been doing so far I consider pure frippery--not that frippery is bad, in its place. Interestingly, though, Creatorverse is her favorite "game." (She thinks it's a game and I'm not going to argue.)


    Alas, when done right, all learning is play?

    Top
    Page 1 of 12 1 2 3 ... 11 12 >


    Moderator:  M-Moderator 
    Recent Posts
    SIG Summer Camp
    by Irena
    Yesterday at 01:47 PM
    Elitism
    by spaghetti
    06/29/22 07:54 AM
    Confidence Intervals
    by Emigee
    06/27/22 02:08 PM
    Resources for impulse control?
    by indigo
    06/25/22 06:49 PM
    Technology may replace 40% of jobs in 15 years
    by indigo
    06/19/22 05:52 AM
    Davidson Institute Twitter