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Technology in the classroom (Read 135 times)

    For those with kids in public schools, what technology advancement have you seen over the past couple of years through your school districts?

     

    In 2008, our community agreed to a bond package that provides every student an iPad for the classroom.

    This school year, the students are beginning to receive their devices (4th, 7th, 10th graders)

    This week, my 4th grader came home with an iPad with a secure carrying case that'll be used for most school work.

    Our cost: $40 / school year (insurance).

    (Families have the option not to get the iPad and use paper material)

    I'll be interested in how the classroom learning experience changes for these kids.

     

    I've read about some Los Angeles school district doing something similar.
    Any other school districts with similar programs?

    Thoughts about the program?

    2014 Goals:

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

    #2: 365 Hours training

     

      Past couple of years? I dunno, it's been a fairly steady change for as long as my kids have been in public school which is 12 years now. BYOD for middle and high school happened in the last couple of years, I guess.

       

      The biggest technology advancement that's actually made a difference is the proliferation of online tools that the kids can use both in the classroom and at home, and that their teachers can monitor and see their progress--tools such as xtramath.

       

      They're using iPads in the elementary school this year, sponsored by the PTO. I think it's probably a waste of time and money, being pushed by well meaning people who see iPads as something tangible that they can point to and say that they're putting more technology in the classrooms. Our elementary aged kids need less screen time, not more, imo.

      Runners run.

        Our elementary aged kids need less screen time, not more, imo.

        +1

        and not just elementary aged kids either.  My middle schooler needs time off from screens big time.  So far she is doing well in class and her swimming, but something's got to give soon.

          Past couple of years? I dunno, it's been a fairly steady change for as long as my kids have been in public school which is 12 years now. BYOD for middle and high school happened in the last couple of years, I guess. 

           

          Fair enough.  Yes, you're right.  Yes, like you, we've been involved with the school system for 12+ years and have noticed a lot of change over the past few years. as it relates to online learning.

          From spellingcity / xtramath style applications for the younger kids to the note taking applications for my university son.  Technology has changed / is changing.

           

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

           

          As it relates to "less screen time", I'd agree to some extent.  But, I think the challenge of parents in today's time relates to proper use of "screens" and any positive use of screens through education that would replace the traditional use of screens (entertainment).

          2014 Goals:

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

          #2: 365 Hours training

           


          Fat butt on couch

            My oldest is first grade and attends a fairly rural but well-scoring school.  They don't have the whiz-bang gadgets for the most part, last year we donated an old CD player with headphones to the kindergarten to replace one that broke.  They used them at learning stations.  Frankly I'm not sure how much time they spend on a computer in school, she gets some of that at home and I don't think she needs more.

             

            The one technology shift over the past few years -- I understand it is fairly new -- is the online system to track grades and other student metrics.  This I value a great deal.

             

            She has access to a lightly-used iPad gifted by a family member who upgraded.  We let her use it for some educational games and the occasional video in the car etc.  We use it more than she does as access is restricted.  If she brings home a paper with 100% we will often use that as a reward.

             

            IMHO young kids need to be working on the fundamentals and writing and too much electronic gadgetry can be a negative.  Our state had an asinine decision a few years ago -- which I believe has since been reversed -- to stop teaching handwriting and just do typing.  Many public schools, including ours, announced that they would ignore that policy.  Imagine a generation who can't sign their name...

             

            I see more of a place for it in older grades.  Certainly a tablet would be nice to replace 40lb backpacks full of textbooks.  It would be nice to see that occur more with college and break the textbook racket the publishers run there.

            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

             

            ShuffleFaster


              We had a recent BTSN, and I was amazed at some of the tech in classrooms.

               

              They had "magic" boards, where the teacher could write, pull resources on it from the Internet with a gesture, save the writing for later review, etc.

               

              Having the texts on-line, real time grade tracking, teachers that answer our student's emails about questions daily, etc have been a real boon as well.

               

              All of this has not considerably cut face time with the teacher (they all have before and after office hours.  If anything they have become more accessible as the tech has ramped up.

               

              I wish I had this stuff when going through school  (except for texting phones--that is the one tech that should be banned in the classroom Smile

               

              PS:  They don't teach cursive in our district either, a decision I do not concur with.

                I see more of a place for it in older grades.  Certainly a tablet would be nice to replace 40lb backpacks full of textbooks.  It would be nice to see that occur more with college and break the textbook racket the publishers run there.

                 

                My oldest is a sophmore in university who buys most of his textbooks online (if they're available).  He loves that option for the weight reason but also the 'ease of use' option.  A highlighter and a search function also work electronically.

                2014 Goals:

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

                #2: 365 Hours training

                 

                  For those with kids in public schools, what technology advancement changes have you seen over the past couple of years through your school districts?

                   

                  In 2008, our community agreed to a bond package that provides every student an iPad for the classroom.

                  This school year, the students are beginning to receive their devices (4th, 7th, 10th graders)

                  This week, my 4th grader came home with an iPad with a secure carrying case that'll be used for most school work.

                  Our cost: $40 / school year (insurance).

                  (Families have the option not to get the iPad and use paper material)

                  I'll be interested in how the classroom learning experience changes for these kids.

                   

                  I've read about some Los Angeles school district doing something similar.
                  Any other school districts with similar programs?

                  Thoughts about the program?

                   

                  There, FTFY. I don't think all technology changes are advancements. My son's entire freshman class in HS is part of a pilot program to use iPads. They can be a great tool, especially for collaboration with other students and the teachers, but not necessarily for every subject. Doing a math problem on an iPad is much slower than pencil and paper.   Some of his teachers are reluctant to adopt it fully.

                   

                  If anything this does teach kids to be focused. If they are easily distracted, which the iPad can result in, they'll piss away hours of time, and their grades will suffer. So, they learn quickly to use it for what it was intended (at least we hope).

                    My step son's school started providing computers to all 5-12th graders this year, in lieu of textbooks. He is in 5th grade, so this is all new to us. We declined to allow him to take to and from school because he has a desktop at home and we did not like the idea of him toting a laptop all over the place. He is in special education with behavioral/emotional issues as well as autism spectrum stuff and co-ops to a school 30 minutes away - which adds extra layers of bus time, switching between special ed and mainstream classes during the day, switching back to our district for after school programs (and our local school does not do the laptops for at least kids as young as him) etc...

                     

                    I don't like it very much myself because he is already glued to the TV and/or video games too much as it is. This the first year for the program, and the first week of school it seemed as if the kids did nothing but get to know their computers and do a lot of playing games and messaging each other. It will be interesting to see how it develops as the year goes on.

                    Kerry

                    HF #1048

                    Concept2 - Marathons Rowed April & May 2013

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                      About 2 years ago they put Smart Boards in every classroom in my son's (former) elementary school. They also bought a couple ipad carts, similar to what mikey described. I always figured they did that because it was cheaper than buying new computers, which need to be upgraded.

                       

                      Now with the middle school, we're using Aspen to manage assignments, etc... I'm hoping it proves to be a good tool to better know what's going on and better manage the at home side of things.

                       

                      I can't wait until heavy textbooks are a thing of the past. If you aren't allowed to write in them I don't see any advantage over a digital copy.

                        My kid's school keeps trying to buy more Prometheus boards (I think mainly for upper grades). I have never seen them in action so I have no idea which of its features justify the 10-20x cost over a normal whiteboard...


                        Fat butt on couch

                           

                          There, FTFY. I don't think all technology changes are advancements.

                           

                          My sister is a college prof.  Over the past 5-6 years she has started to see a trending increase in issues with students that result from too much reliance on technology (lack basic note-taking skills, can't deal with free-text answers, etc).  As it's a commuter campus and she gets a mix of 18/19 year-old freshman and older students, she can compare across them and see it being particularly notable with the younger students.

                          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                           

                            I didn't go to the 'mandatory' parents meeting for the iPads (my wife did).  But, she relayed a cool thing that they do within the classroom.

                            Basically, all 20 kids within the classroom are connected to a teachers main screen, and as they're working on their assignments, she can monitor the movements and answers and will have the ability to work directly with a student and help them learn.


                            Also, any child's specific screen can be presented to the entire class, so if "Billy" has a great grasp of a given concept, the teacher can make his screen visible for the other 19 kids to have him explain how he approaches a given challenge.

                            2014 Goals:

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

                            #2: 365 Hours training

                             


                            Wandering Wally

                              At my daughter's school they get Mac laptops in 7th grade.  She's in 6th grade this year and a good portion of their math curriculum is web based.  The software can monitor how the kids are doing and assign them more of specific types of problems if it senses a student is having difficulty.  So glad we didn't have that when I was in school.  It would have been story problem hell.

                              Run!  Just Run!

                               

                              Trail Runner Nation Podcast

                                If we had technology when I was a kid my parents would have known I was lying when I said I didn't have homework.

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