Archive for Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lawrence school board approves purchase of iPad 2s, tax rebate for Masonic Temple

September 27, 2011

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Juniors in American literature classes at Free State and Lawrence high schools soon will be reading classic stories in a decidedly state-of-the-art manner: on iPads.

And a downtown property owner will be getting a property tax rebate on his planned overhaul of the Masonic Temple, 1001 Mass.

Monday night, members of the Lawrence school board agreed to buy 172 iPad 2s and related hardware, software and training services from Apple for $122,230. The board also approved a plan for Consolidated Properties to receive a rebate on an estimated $800,000 in upgrades to the former temple, so that it can be used by Maceli’s for catering and events.

The iPads will be divided up for three uses: to gather and utilize data collected from “walk-throughs” of teacher classrooms by other teachers; students studying media in the high schools; and juniors in literature classes, so that they can read stories available for free electronically instead of lugging around large texts.

“Reading literature out of a book is not where our students are anymore,” said Kim Young, a curriculum specialist for language arts.

Comments

Richard Heckler 3 years, 10 months ago

How in the world can USD 497 afford to turn down a new tax dollar source?

Simply because the Masonic Temple was tax exempt is no reason to turn down a new source of support for the public schools.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 10 months ago

“Reading literature out of a book is not where are students are anymore,” said Kim Young, a curriculum specialist for language arts. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

WOOHOO! Were getting a new Library!

chootspa 3 years, 10 months ago

Did you know you can check out ebooks from the library? You can. It also gives computer access to many people who would otherwise not be able to use one.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 10 months ago

Did you know you can check out ebooks from the library? +++++++++++++++++++++++ You can buy ebooks too, thus supporting the writer and the tax system.

It also gives computer access to many people who would otherwise not be able to use one. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ There are computers all over the place. Why should the taxpayer pay for computers for vagrents, el cheapo's and moochers? They too, could purchase a computer, thus supporting the manufacturing sector and the tax system.

Gimmie people don't understand what it is like to pay their own way. Those of us who put more into the system than we demand from it, do!

chootspa 3 years, 10 months ago

Why should taxpayers pay for poor people to have access to books, the Internet, and other ways they can apply for jobs, learn things, or otherwise help themselves out of their poverty? Gee, Tom, I don't know. Why should we do that?

Richard Heckler 3 years, 10 months ago

Straining eyes by constantly staring into a screen might increase the cost of health insurance.

Getting hooked on electronic devices can be a costly endeavor = the next IPAD will have more bells and whistles plus new software because the old software is not compatible.

Books can go everywhere with or without electricity.

flyin_squirrel 3 years, 10 months ago

Wow Merrill, really showing your true colors here...

Dan Matthews 3 years, 10 months ago

Uhhhh, what part of his statement is incorrect?

chootspa 3 years, 10 months ago

It's easier to name the part of his statement that was correct: Books don't require electricity. Oh, and we can presume the next iPad will have more bells and whistles. The rest was speculation, and some of it was pretty silly. Eye strain raising insurance rates? Please.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 10 months ago

"...juniors in literature classes, so that they can read stories available for free electronically instead of lugging around large texts."

"Lugging around large texts?" Something that millions of students have done for centuries all over the world? The obsession that public education has today with mollycoddling students and begging them to learn instead of kicking their butts if they refuse to learn is mind-boggling.

"'Reading literature out of a book is not where are students are anymore,' said Kim Young, a curriculum specialist for language arts." That's one taxpayer-funded U.S.D. 497 employee who ought to be fired tomorrow. Good grief.

DillonBarnes 3 years, 10 months ago

I can see where you're coming from, it's no doubt public schools are failing to really teach and prepare students for college or life.

However, students don't learn just because they lug around textbooks. Have you seen a student's backpack lately? It's insane the amount of weight some students must carry day to day. Giving growing children lifelong back problems is not teaching them.

Either way, I'm sure there was the same amount of grief when computers started entering schools. "Golly gee, I didn't need computers when I was in school, so no one else should." The world is changing, and our schools must adapt. Give it 10 years and I betcha you'll see some tablet device in the hands of most students.

Dan Matthews 3 years, 10 months ago

As what was stated above, good thing we just shelled out 18 million for a new library....

DRsmith 3 years, 10 months ago

What a complete joke. I personally can't stand reading large documents from a screen. Just another reason to spend money. Don't pretend it is something for the students.

chootspa 3 years, 10 months ago

Yes. We should base all technology decisions around what you personally prefer. Very logical.

DRsmith 3 years, 10 months ago

About as logical as ditching text books is.

chootspa 3 years, 10 months ago

Yes, we should never change how we read and write with the times. Hold on a sec, I have to get this cuneiform finished before the clay dries.

DillonBarnes 3 years, 10 months ago

Ever seen a Kindle? Instead of a bright LED screen, they use an E-Ink material that looks a lot more like a physical book.

I'm not saying that is the case in this situation, but it's no doubt the future.

chootspa 3 years, 10 months ago

E-Ink is awesome. It really is, but it looks horrible in color, and the refresh rate is too slow. Even Amazon is releasing a color tablet version of the ir e-reader.

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 10 months ago

The kids at my house gave this a thumbs down and said it was a bad use of funds needed elsewhere such as fixing things that are broken and hiring better teachers. Evidence presented were the dismal reading scores reported in the class of 2011.

If it was me, and I am not a professional teacher, I would prefer that they offer kids more practical courses such as;

Computer Hardware Class: You are required to take apart and rebuild a computer. During this training you will learn the Binary Number system and how it is applied in software programs. You will learn all the components of a computer and learn how to actually take command of a PC including the reformating of hard drives, etc. You will be taught how to create a functional network and a simple website and understand how the internet works. To do all of this, the class will be very fast paced.

For those who fall below a certain grade level, you will be required to run a mile and pushups until you show improvement.

Given the world we live in, I would think this kind of class should be required.

dontsheep 3 years, 10 months ago

$710 per iPad. Nothing like paying a few hundred more than market value on an already terrible decision.

Sharon Aikins 3 years, 10 months ago

And related hardware....but still. I can't figure out where they are finding $211 worth of additional hardware per iPad.

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 10 months ago

I remember working with some engineers on a special machine to manufacture water pumps for an automotive company in Detroit. This was back in the early 90's. We were always getting involved in the latest and greatest CAD/CAM programs and looking for faster and faster processors. An engineer I was working with completed all the drawings and models and they were magnificent. I asked him what kind of software he was using and he said Microsoft Paint, the free program that comes with windows. I just about fell out of my chair.

The problem with technology is that it can hide deficiencies and new technology is very seductive. When you use basic tools to achieve a great result, it demonstrates your real capabilities and at times can magnify genius.

We have to be careful about forgetting to teach fundamentals and lighting the fire of genius present in all of our kids, not covering it up with beautiful graphics and shiny new computer screens.

Cogito_Ergo_Es 3 years, 10 months ago

Gosh, whose school do we have to close to pay for this? Those 172 I-Pads would have kept 200 elementary students in their home school for another third of a year. All day, every day, not just for English class.

Jamea CallsHim 3 years, 10 months ago

“Reading literature out of a book is not where are students are anymore,”

"Reading literature out of a book is not where OUR students are anymore."

Also, dontsheep they said- " 172 iPad 2s and related hardware, software and training services from Apple for $122,230."

This implies that they are purchasing a little more than just the iPad 2's. So I doubt they are paying $710 per iPad.

Just saying.

jafs 3 years, 10 months ago

Your version is a bit better, but it's still not correct.

"Students tend not to read books these days, and prefer using electronic devices like Kindle" might be one correct version.

And, I also noticed that a "curriculum specialist for language arts" was using the English language quite incorrectly, and found it ironic.

chootspa 3 years, 10 months ago

Merrill doesn't believe germs cause illness. He's a font of helpful health tips.

AreUKiddingMe 3 years, 10 months ago

Why did i know before getting to the comments that it was going to be full of "back in my day.." "i cant stand reading from..." "everyone should be reading more books..." and of course a jab at the new library... I just find it kind of funny that all these comments are from people reading this article and its comments on a computer, phone, or tablet. Lol

Blessed4x 3 years, 10 months ago

If they are just reading books, what would be wrong with a $115 Kindle?

formerfarmer 3 years, 10 months ago

http://www.usd497.org/AboutUs/SchoolBoard/Agenda/2011.12Archives/20110926d/ipads.pdf Go to this site if you would like a breakdown on the cost it the I-Pads and the rational presented to the school board.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 10 months ago

Having to walk to school through toxic clouds of pollution caused by 2-cycle lawn mower engines might increase the cost of health insurance.

Cordelia Brown 3 years, 10 months ago

In three years, half of them will be gone.

Liberty275 3 years, 10 months ago

How do they propose to keep "Juniors in American literature classes at Free State and Lawrence high schools" from accessing adult material? Any attempt could be bypassed by a semi-intelligent 12 year old.

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