One Vision

Stumbled across the news that my old stomping grounds school district is moving to a 1:1 iPad initiative in some grades. A little internet digging, and I found some impressive information about their program. They’ve really thought this through, they’ve articulated WHY the technology is being used, and what the learning outcomes will be.

  • My Way
    Basic information about the project
  • My Way Presentation
    PDF of what I assume is a presentation they use for parents, school board, etc.

A few quotes and thoughts from the presentation:

  • “Each student has access to digital curriciulum via essential personal mobile learning device.” (empahsis mine)
  • Strong emphasis on personalized learning:  “The paradigm shift to a personalized learning experience is the process of contouring learning to individuals, recognizing that individuals inherently have different strengths and weaknesses, interests and ways of learning.” – Sir Ken Robinson
  • “1 to 1 programs provide for digital access and learning opportunities regardless of socioeconomic status”
  • “Providing all students with 21st century skills and making education relevant to today’s world are critical to closing both the achievement gap and the global competition gap.” — Public Opinion Strategies and Peter D. Hart Research Associates (2007)
  • To be really effective, teachers need to use the technology to achieve things they could not do without it.” –Ruben R. Puentedura

Huh. Makes me even more frustrated with what I’m seeing on a daily basis from my kids’ schools, and with the pushback I get from the schools when I ask about this stuff.

Called to the Office

Well, week #1 and we’re getting called to the principal’s office.

Our disruptive technology experience (the iPad Project) has been an interesting experience. My son was really nervous about a couple of the teachers, but so far that’s been just fine. One teacher he was really nervous about was just amused when my son pulled out his iPad when they ran out of calculators. All the teachers have seen him use the iPad, no one has had a problem.

He’s exploring apps that work:

  • My Homework allows him to enter all his homework assignments, sort by due date, get notification of upcoming or late assignments. He far prefers this to the paper planners.
  • Evernote: all his notes for all his classes are right there. One spot. No forgetting notebooks.
  • Kidblog: he’s doing his journal in Kidblog.


Back to why we were called to the office. Day #2 brought the technology policy home. I didn’t sign it last year, and wasn’t about to sign it this year. It’s just the first paragraph I can’t sign, as it says that all personal electronic devices must be off and put away except when instructed by a teacher.

Here’s the email I sent:

I can’t sign the Tech policy as it is. I’m fine with most of it, but I can’t accept the first point….
These devices can be incredible learning tools, and we do a disservice to our kids by refusing to allow them to use them in school. Kids need to learn how to use them, and to learn that there are appropriate times/uses and inappropriate times/uses.
Given that we’ve allowed xxx to bring his iPad to school this year, it seems hypocritical for us to sign the policy as it is written.
Will post the outcome of the meeting.