Archive for Friday, September 23, 2011

Lawrence school district to consider buying iPad 2s

September 23, 2011


Giving an apple to a teacher stands as a traditional gift from students, and now Lawrence school board members are poised to elevate the practice to a high-tech level.

Monday night, board members will consider paying $122,230 for 172 new Apple iPad2s, plus associated equipment and software. The tablets would be used by teachers and, eventually, their students to try out new programs, curriculum and other matters in relating to reading, technical education and professional development.

The iPad2s wouldn’t be theirs to keep, but they would be able to explore the units’ applications, capabilities and opportunities.

“We see this as a great opportunity,” said Kim Young, a curriculum specialist in language arts for the Lawrence school district. “It could really move our district forward, in terms of technology, and move our students forward for the future.”

Uses planned for the iPad2s:

• Language arts, specifically for American Literature classes at the 11th-grade level at Free State and Lawrence high schools. Students would use the iPad2s in class, as their teachers came up with ways to use them. Students would be able to read books online, instead of relying on textbooks last purchased in 1999.

• Media education through “career pathways” in both middle schools and high schools. Students without smartphones could use the iPad2s to conduct firsthand reporting about live events.

• Data collection from “walk-through observations,” the 5-minute sessions in which observers visit teachers’ classrooms to see what they’re doing right and what could be improved.

Among sources of financing for the new iPad2s and related equipment and software: money set aside for furnishings and technology upgrades through the district’s capital outlay fund, grant revenue, student fees, and funds set aside for contracted professional development.

Monday’s meeting begins at 7 p.m. at district headquarters, 110 McDonald Drive, immediately following an hour-long study session covering the district’s efforts regarding curriculum.


MyName 6 years, 8 months ago

Actually, the iPad ends up being less than some districts spend on textbooks in a year. Which is absurd for a different reason.

Darth_Vader 6 years, 8 months ago

"Data collection from “walk-through observations,” the 5-minute sessions in which observers visit teachers’ classrooms to see what they’re doing right and what could be improved."

Curious, this can't be done with a pen and a piece of paper?

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 8 months ago

How about buying just one, do the tests on it? Here comes the mill levy increase.

madcow 6 years, 8 months ago

The world is moving towards using tablets. Getting kids exposed early is a good thing.

Steve Jacob 6 years, 8 months ago

Desktop computers will be a thing of the past in 10 years so why not. Kind of like taking computer class at LHS twenty some years ago using floppy disk.

rcr 6 years, 8 months ago

You must be young (or I'm really old). When I took computer classes in high school, we had to use punch cards.

John Hamm 6 years, 8 months ago


ksndn 6 years, 8 months ago

So who's upset with the district trying to keep our kids in step with the technology? I was taught Dos & given a big 3.5 floppy & now I'm using Open Office for all my proposals but still rely on algebra to figure jobs. I'll pay whatever mill levy, tax increase or whatever else to make sure my kids keep up & are prepared for the real world.

obamasocks 6 years, 8 months ago

Or here is an idea...wait 6 months at buy 172 ipad2s for $61,115. Seriously, its idiotic to buy these if there isn't a curriculum or lesson plan geared around them. Sure, they're nifty and "the future", but why buy at full price when they will be horrendously outdated in 3 years. Wait a couple of years, come up with a real way to teach with them, and then buy a boatload of them w/ the latest tech (or these ones for half the price).

Flap Doodle 6 years, 8 months ago

Buy 'em books. Send 'em to school. What do they do? They eat the books.... Oh, wait, never mind.

conservative 6 years, 8 months ago

If the district actually had a plan on what they would use them for and how many they would actually need to accomplish those goals then I could be on board with the purchase. Businesses require detailed analysis of what new equipment will be used for and what the benefits will be. School districts apparently just say gee lets go buy a bunch of cool technology, I'm sure we'll figure out uses for it after we have it.

kansasredlegs 6 years, 8 months ago

I'm commenting using my IPad, so teachers can buy their own too! The intellectual capabilities of this community is somehow always overshadowed by the stupidity of its ideas and absurd decisions to waste taxpayer money.

domino 6 years, 8 months ago

My daughter teaches at a school where they were given iPads thru some sort of grant. Didn't cost the school a bundle and great learning tool for the kids. And this is at a K-5 facility!! Like it or not, this is the taching of the future.

808Drive 6 years, 8 months ago

They already bought them! I saw them with my own eyes.

parrothead8 6 years, 8 months ago

I know the school district is under a state mandate to spend down that savings account, but I hate to see them spend this amount of money on something that will be obsolete within 5 years.

Barry Watts 6 years, 8 months ago

That's $710 per iPad2... Where are they buying them from? Check out or many other sites. Much cheaper!

engagedecoy 6 years, 8 months ago

You are missing the Accessories and Software they purchased as well.

chootspa 6 years, 8 months ago

I'm guessing that includes cases, software, and insurance.

engagedecoy 6 years, 8 months ago

In all seriousness, this has got to be the biggest waste of money. So our school district can afford to buy iPads to teach about the "new technology", but did the district stop to think, how many parents can ACTUALLY afford to buy their children an iPad? Or how about the fact, that either late this year or early next, the IPAD3 will be out. This is just stupid on the administrations part.

chootspa 6 years, 8 months ago

The students won't have to buy the iPads if I'm reading this right. They'll get to use the ones the district buys.

jackson5 6 years, 8 months ago

How many are going to the classrooms and how many are going to administrators?

WAYT 6 years, 8 months ago

And how many will walk out the door never to be seen again? It's a highly desired portable electronic device that will fit perfectly in a student or teacher's backpack.

huskerpower 6 years, 8 months ago

I can see the advantages, but why not buy original iPads (as opposed to iPad 2). I don't see the benefit the new features would have in this situation? It seems an iPad would be just as capable at a fraction of the price.

Katara 6 years, 8 months ago

I agree. It doesn't have to have the latest bells and whistles to work.

David Klamet 6 years, 8 months ago

When educators don't have any other ideas about how to educate students, they buy technology (preferably something trendy) and complain that they need more money.

This post,

is about a school district in Main who is planning to buy Ipad's for their kindergarteners, If you read the comments, you'll find that the majority of the techies (including myself), think that this is a ridiculous idea.

p>, is one of the premier online forums, popular among for those whom technology and science is either their career or a major interest If that crowd is disdainful of a particular application of technology, they are worth listening to.

If you want to use technology to help in education, look at A simple approach to education. A number of schools are starting to use it.

Google and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have been major supporters.

Hey, USD 497, that means it's trendy, or starting to be. Oh, by the way, it's FREE. Hope the cost doesn't eliminate it from consideration.

All you do need a computer with an internet connection.

ivalueamerica 6 years, 8 months ago

all the knee jerk reactionaries with all the usual comments, excluding any facts.

PC's sales are plummeting. Laptops are still rising, but leveling off.

This is the future. Why should we teach our kids with outdated technology when the new technology is more accurate and in the long run, cheaper.

I applaud the school district, for once, thinking forward instead of backwards.

gccs14r 6 years, 8 months ago

It sounds like they're not using the ipads to teach the students about technology, they're using the ipads to figure out how to use ipads. If they'd bought a dozen of them for the curriculum and instruction committee so they could figure out if they can be useful in the classroom, that'd be different, but that doesn't appear to be the case here.

engagedecoy 6 years, 8 months ago

"Why should we teach our kids with outdated technology when the new technology is more accurate and in the long run, cheaper."

I'll tell you why when the IPAD3 comes out in under a year. The technology features nothing new and extraordinary that we couldn't already achieve with a laptop or desktop computer.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 8 months ago

-Research does not support using electronic devices for books. There is less comprehension. -Purchasing books for the iPad is not cheaper than buying books in a store. Is this different for textbooks? -it's not difficult to learn how to use an iPad . Why would students need to be taught? -There is research that electronic media narrows the scope of learning. There is heavy debate on this. USD 497 should be studying the impact of using iPads or wait for more definitive results elsewhere. -There are a lot of overlapping technologies right now. Some of them will disappear. Others will expand. -Technology should be incidental to learning.

iPads are useful for light applications. I find it very useful when travelling, because of the maps/GPS, web browsing, email, contacts, and current news. I am using my iPad to write this. No need to sit at the computer.

chootspa 6 years, 8 months ago

-How current is the research? Please cite some. Seriously, i'm interested in reading what you have on this. Old ebooks used to be terrible, but they've come of age. -Purchasing pubic domain literature is definitely cheaper for the iPad than it is from the bookstore. Purchasing traditional textbooks is generally not that big of a savings, but maybe they have an agreement with the publisher. -Again, I'm interested in your research on electric media narrowing the scope of learning. Please cite it. I'm of the camp that it's the message not the media. -Sure, there are a lot of overlapping technologies, but Apple has 75% of the emerging market and the vast majority of the apps, so it's a safe bet for current users, and the skills will transfer from one device to the next. You can hardly stand still just because technology will change again someday.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 8 months ago

The Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein, 2008. This book has a strong bias, but cites research both pro and con.

Why Computers Don't Belong in the Classroom and Other Reflections by a Computer Contrarian by Clifford Stoll, 1999 Stohl is a computer security guru, consultant to government agencies.

The Department of Education website has research pages. They recently revamped their site, so I could not find anything quickly.

I have not seen research specifically related to ipads. They are too new.

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