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    #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.


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    #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?

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    #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)

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    #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.)

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    #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.

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    #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

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    #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.

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    #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: 3296
    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)

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    #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.

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    #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.

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