12

Technology in the classroom (Read 135 times)

mab411


Proboscis Colossus

    Due to a generous donation by a wealthy alumni, 9-10th grade at my school get iPads, 11-12th grade get Macbook Airs (I think it was a mistake not to get them all iPads, but that ship has sailed).  They get to take them home.

     

    It's been, overall, a good thing.  There are several options out there for each class, and for the district in general, for assignment distribution and collection through the "iDevices."  One of the big things that they were trying to address with this is preparing the kids to use computer technology, because that's what they'll encounter after graduation.  You're probably thinking the same thing I was, "don't the kids already know how to use technology just fine?  Do they really not know how to use a computer?"

     

    Well, the answer is no, apparently, for a large chunk of the student body in this rural, economically-depressed school.  A high percentage don't have a computer, let alone internet, at home, so it really has been advantageous for them to get some hands-on time with some sort of electronic device, and learn to set up and use an e-mail account, manage files, etc..

     

    The biggest downsides have been exactly what you'd expect: keeping them from playing games during class, cat-and-mouse games over the internet filters with the kids who do know their way around a computer, and kids who just don't know how to take care of nice things.

    "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people

      I'll echo Spaniel's comment about the online grading / assignment systems. These are very useful to us parents to put focus where it needs to be.

       

      The iPad thing is in it's 3rd year for us. I was a little surprised (in year one) that the bond issue was sold with the promise of online textbooks, but my son had ONE class with an online textbook. I did like that the teachers could give quizzes that were instantly graded. Some of the other things that posters above have mentioned are starting to get more use. When we found that my son was using it mostly to play games, we turned it back in.

       

      Now that my daughter is a freshman - she got the school issued iPad and we also allowed my son, now a junior, to get one again. I'm looking forward to see an increase in the number of online textbooks, teachers tools, etc. But so far, I think it's a failed experiment. Not counting school issued equipment and smartphones, our kids have access to close to a dozen devices - tablets, laptops, and desktops - that they can use to do their homework and school projects on and from what I can see we are not an outlier family.

       

      Still, if we're going to throw public money away, I'd rather it be on something like this so everyone can play games, instead of ANOTHER $40 to $60 million dollar football stadium so that a only few dozen can play games.

      When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

        Still, if we're going to throw public money away, I'd rather it be on something like this so everyone can play games, instead of ANOTHER $40 to $60 million dollar football stadium so that a only few dozen can play games.

        +1

        Smile  Yes.  Thank you.  I agree.  But, in this case, "everyone" should be "everyone with children in public schools"

         

        Also, with QE being tightened (if that's the proper term for what's going on today), I wonder whether the availability of community taxpayer funded bonds like we've seen over the past 4 or 5 years will decrease.

        2014 Goals:

        #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

        #2: 365 Hours training <NOPE, INJURED>

         

           I was thinking specifically over the past few years as it relates to capital spending and investment through voter bond packages (since 2007 crisis).

           

           

          Hahahahahahahahaha.  But, really, California is great.

          JPF


            Maybe I'm ignorant, but I can't really see any advantage in using computers to teach basic subjects.  I can see value in certain kinds of technology for teachers (e.g., tracking metrics on students, communication with parents), but I don't see how an iPad helps anybody learn math/reading/writing/science/etc. at the elementary or secondary level.  These kids aren't doing differential equations.  It is, however, good for the companies selling computers and software and good for school administrators who can point to the purchase and introduction of technology as an accomplishment even if it doesn't lead to any kind of actual improvement in anybody's education.

             

            In college things change a little.  Engineers have to use computers for many subjects now.  Certain math areas basically require computers at this point.  I suspect that chemistry and certain areas of physics can make good use of computers for the math and for manipulating structures.  (I'm talking in class; obviously all sorts of people use computers in research.)  When I was in school, they were trying to have computer labs in basic multivariable calculus, but it was mostly a waste of time; instructors had no idea how to use the software to actually illustrate the topics as opposed to just showing us pretty pictures.

              I think the problem lies in how it's funded.

              If taxpayers are paying 30 years for a technology product that lasts for 3 years (or 4 years), in a few years, those school boards will have some explaining to do.

              It'll be hard for them to answer "what have you do with the money?" questions.  Especially since the original voter approval was based on specific expenditures (or types of expenditures).

               

              In our school district, they're supplementing the technology purchases with a lot of construction work (football fields, nautatorium, classrooms, etc.).  At least those construction products will be around in 29 years when the last payments are being made.  The iPad purchases from 2013 would be a minor expenditure.

              2014 Goals:

              #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

              #2: 365 Hours training <NOPE, INJURED>

               

              mab411


              Proboscis Colossus

                Maybe I'm ignorant, but I can't really see any advantage in using computers to teach basic subjects.  I can see value in certain kinds of technology for teachers (e.g., tracking metrics on students, communication with parents), but I don't see how an iPad helps anybody learn math/reading/writing/science/etc. at the elementary or secondary level.  These kids aren't doing differential equations.  It is, however, good for the companies selling computers and software and good for school administrators who can point to the purchase and introduction of technology as an accomplishment even if it doesn't lead to any kind of actual improvement in anybody's education.

                 

                In college things change a little.  Engineers have to use computers for many subjects now.  Certain math areas basically require computers at this point.  I suspect that chemistry and certain areas of physics can make good use of computers for the math and for manipulating structures.  (I'm talking in class; obviously all sorts of people use computers in research.)  When I was in school, they were trying to have computer labs in basic multivariable calculus, but it was mostly a waste of time; instructors had no idea how to use the software to actually illustrate the topics as opposed to just showing us pretty pictures.

                 

                That's a factor in our school's decision to get the iDevices, preparation for college.  Sure, sure, not all of them are college-bound, not by a long shot, but our goal is to prepare them as much as possible for it.

                "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people

                   

                  That's a factor in our school's decision to get the iDevices, preparation for college.  Sure, sure, not all of them are college-bound, not by a long shot, but our goal is to prepare them as much as possible for it.

                  HERESY!  All kids are college-material.  Doesn't matter that most will have to detour slightly for remedial math/english before being able to handle legitimate college level course material.  If we could only get to universal Ipad/Mac capability by the time they enter 1st grade all would be well (for Apple, that is).


                  just a simple cat

                    HERESY!  All kids are college-material.  Doesn't matter that most will have to detour slightly for remedial math/english before being able to handle legitimate college level course material.  If we could only get to universal Ipad/Mac capability by the time they enter 1st grade all would be well (for Apple, that is).

                     

                    teaching them coding in kindergarten!  Cool

                     

                    Running is stupid

                    12