• Striving to Improve Our 1:1 Program

    From the very first day a student was issued a device in our district, our mission was to make it the best program it could be.  This required us to evaluate every decision we made even before the devices were issued. Talking to students, parents teachers and administrators help us make decisions and lead to parent nights, publishing My Child Has a Device, Now What?, increased security measures, teacher professional development.  We have looked within our own school and reached out to other with successful 1:1 programs.  We are now looking at the life span of our oldest devices and looking forward to future purchases.  Below is the presentation presented to the Board of Education prior to the April 10th board meeting and also to the parents at an informational meeting on March 21 at district office.  Following the meeting the FAQ raised at the meeting have been posted with answers.
    On April 10, 2017 the School Board approved the recommendation to gradually over the next 3 year transition to iPads in the junior high schools.  6th grade students will be issued an iPad beginning the 2017-2018 school year.  Students that have already been issued MacBooks (graduating classes of 2018 and 2019) will retain MacBooks until graduation.  The board also approved the extending the life of the iPad fleet to 4 years making additional devices available for 1st and 2nd grade classrooms.  The plan includes making keyboards available for student/teacher checkout in addition to the option for parents to purchase a drop resistant case/keyboard combination at a reduces cost if desired.  Detains on the keyboard purchase option will be made available closer to the beginning of the school year.
  • Our Current Program

    Grades K-2 (8) iPads per classroom

    Grades 3-5 1:1 iPads

    Grades 6-8 1:1 MacBook Air 11”

    Recommendation to the Board

    (Please watch video above for full explanation)

    Grade K (12) iPads per classroom

    Grades 1-2 1:1 iPads (stay at school)

    Grades 3-8 1:1 iPads (travel home with student)

    Other Considerations of the Board

    Purchase program for graduating students

    Possible Technology Fee

    PFE Tech Night 3/21/17  at District Office in the Boardroom from 7pm - 9pm

    Presented by: Chris Bohula, Director of Technology Instructional Services

    17 parents in attendance

    Devin Hodge - Board Member,
    Dr. DJ Skogsberg, Superintendent   

    Dr. Lynn Zeder - Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning


    Students have too much freedom to be able to download all kinds of games and get to the internet/Youtube.  I would like school iPads to be much more restrictive and have only apps to be used to teach in class and for homework.

    The iPad is a much more restrictive device than the MacBook.  Currently, students do not have access to the App store but only to a vetted district app store.  The internet and Youtube are filtered at school.  Parents can reach out to their internet service provider for assistance in filtering their at home Wifi.  By the nature of the device, the MacBook is much more prone for students to be able to install their own apps.

    How is it [device] treated by others and then refurbished and issued to another student?

    We have seen when a student is issued a new device and takes “ownership” they treat it much better.  Our long term intention is to be able to provide a student with a new device in 1st and 5th grade and they use the same device for the duration of the life of the device.  Because the initial rollout encompassed so many grade levels, it would take several years to fulling realize this as we cycle through the older devices.

    Too much screen time is a concern I have for our students how are you addressing that ?

    We are not trying to give digital worksheets.  We do not want students to use devices as time wasters and look to add only creation and collaboration apps instead of consumption skill and drill apps. The device is a tool much like a pencil it is not always the best tool to use.

    Have you considered Chromebooks since 230 uses them ?

    Yes, we considered every type of device.  Our decision was not based on the cost of the device, but rather the best tool for classroom use.

    Is there anything that they can do on Mac that they won’t be able to use on iPad?

    Most of the web and chrome on Macbooks are compatible with the iPad.  Older flash based websites may not work on the iPad.

    Do  you have proof 1:1 technology is improving our students school experience ?

    In addition to steadily rising test scores and shrinking achievement gaps we have see student become more independent and active participants in their learning.  This allows the students to progress at their own pace, get additional support when needed, and demonstrate learning in ways relevant to the student.

    How do you keep our children safe for predators and other online safety concerns?

    Student  safety is a top concern.  Student email (junior high students) is restricted within the domain. Students can only send and receive email from @orland135.org email addresses.  All email and Google documents are filtered of inappropriate content, bullying and possible self harm.   District administrators are on call 24/7 in the event of safety concerns based on filter results. 

    How is You Tube being used in classroom ?

    Youtube is a powerful tool for digital age learners. You tube is used in showing historic events, it is also used for various science experiments.  Students can learn teach themselves to play an instrument, program a computer or learn how to complete a tricky math problem. Teacher flip their lessons by recording instruction and add it to Youtube for students to review or work at their own pace.

    There is too much freedom with Youtube in particular how do you manage that?

    We have a filter on the school wi-fi at school that will not allow improper content.  Comcast has similar restrictions that you can set up by device at home.

    Can timer apps be downloaded on iPad that parents could use at home?  

    Chris to look into.  We do not allow now because if not turned off could cause a problem at school as well as some of our testing sites will not work on the device if there is a timer. If parents are having a challenge they could work with the teacher on a passcode that could be used at home and then opened in the morning (teacher would need code if not done at home). If a situation is urgent you can contact your child’s teacher or Mr. Bohula. Parents always have the right to request the student's device remain at school.

    Will the iPad allow you to download digits and JH books? 

    The intermediate grades have already updated to the newer version of digits which is iPad compatible.  Junior high grades will have to update eventually but would have the process completed prior to getting iPads.  Next years 6th grade students are already using the new platform this year in 5th grade.  

    When original devices were purchased was it an outright purchase or lease? What happens to returned devices?

    All of the devices the district uses were purchased.  They still have value and the district shops around to get the most value for devices it no longer uses.  Future plans may provide district families to purchase used student devices.

    How many devices are damaged or a total loss each year?

    Less than 3%, damages on the Mac are greater than the iPads.  An exact number will be posted on the website

    When the use the keyboard on the iPad are they typing or pecking?

    We observe the students typing proficiently, with two hands.  Just as if a student were holding a pencil incorrectly, students should be directed to use the keyboard correctly when observed  “pecking.”

    Is there anything that they can do on Mac that they won’t be able to use on iPad?

    Most of the web and app based Macbook programs are compatible with the iPad.  Older flash based websites will not work on iPads. 

    Has anyone talked to or asked the students their preference?

    Since the inception of our program we have had conversations with students. Because the device drives the types of activities the student can perform, the question shouldn’t be asked which device do you like, but which type of learning do you like?  Providing the correct device facilitates a different classroom experience and opportunities.  We are only in the early stages of transforming our classrooms.  Students and teacher that haven’t seen the possibilities have a difficult time understanding them.  We have questioned students in these types of classrooms that are on year 6 and 7 of a 1:1 program.  These students and teachers overwhelming favor the iPad over the MacBook.

    What is the percent of teachers using technology in their classroom with all subjects?

    Depends on grade level can safely say 85% to 90% are using the technology daily.  We have professional development for our staff to show them ways to integrate technology to support the standards.  We need to have the children not only with their device but working together.  We use technology as a tool when appropriate and not the only tool for of learning.   Students regularly collaborate together in reading, science, social studies and other subjects.

    Why are we now adding a fee?  Could we sustain if no fee was charged? How would it be paid?

    With the current issues we are facing at a state and national level with lack of funding we are currently two million in the red.  At the April Committee of the Whole there will be a five year financial plan.   We are doing what we can to save money in all areas such as instituting PLT days next year that will save on sub costs.

    What is our discount compared to retail for purchasing the Apple devices?

    We pay less than retail between 10% and 20%. The apps we purchase are 50% off the retail costs.  Mr Hodge suggested we work with other districts in the area to have greater buying power.

    Will keyboards be purchased to attach to the iPads?  On the iPad the keyboard takes up 1/2 the device so the view of what you are typing is small, and you are not able to see all of what you are writing ?

    Research and testimonials from other junior high teachers teaching  with iPads provide evidence the onscreen keyboard does not affect the amount or quality of student writing or test scores. The district owns a significant number of keyboards already.  These could be shifted for use at junior high buildings as needed.

    What about note taking on the iPad compared to the Mac?

    The teacher center lecture model of the classroom is shifting to more student centered differentiated instruction for students.  This shift empowers students to work at their own pace with on demand resources from teachers.  Note taking activities usually are for lower level memorization activities.  As teachers shift to high level critical thinking performance based activities, the need for note taking will diminish. These resources allow students access to resources on demand requiring less note taking.  Students observed in other Apple distinguished schools had little trouble keeping up and organizing note taking at the junior high level on the iPad.  Teachers in the these districts confirmed this.

    What is the district doing to help our students learn and use handwriting (cursive) ?

    It is not appropriate to use technology for all purposes and paper and pencil activities are still a commonplace in classrooms.

    Will the iPad help to get our children ready for using the Chromebook in High school like the mac will? 

    At other districts that have been with 1:1, using iPads then changing to Chromebooks in

    high school have reported no problems.  This concern has also been discussed with district 230.  District 230 officials are not concerned about the ability for students to be able to transition to a different device. District leaders are more concerned about the ability for students to appropriately use technology in the educational setting.  

    Has the decision already been made?

    A choice has not been made.  The board has received 3 revisions and 6 plans to this report and it is a work in progress being updated daily. Mr Hodge stated that the board wants to know what is the device - what is cost - how do we implement. Options need to be presented to the board, we want to set the students up for life not just the next grade level. Committee of the Whole meeting are where the discussions with the board happen.

    By the time they get to JH they will have mastered the iPad and be bored with it.  Are we putting them at a disadvantage not changing to the Mac?

    We want technology as a tool, it should be invisible. When you write, you need a writing tool.  Whether it is a device or a pencil, it is a tool. You would never consider writing a “pencil activity.”  We are not looking to provide students great “device activities”, we strive to provide great science, social studies, creative writing activities. We have in the past never worried about students being bored with a pencil. What you do with a pencil in class each year changes based on the curriculum.  

    Is there a way to see how the iPads are being used vs macbook on the website?

    If you follow the district hashtag (#osd135) on twitter, teachers in all grade levels are posting the work they are doing in the classrooms daily.  If you are not on Twitter, you can see the tweets by clicking on the district or individual school’s Twitter icon found on their website’s homepage.

    Have you considered keeping the Macbooks for JH with a $100 fee ?

    The fee required would be significantly more than $100.  Additionally, the 5 year Macbook would not align to the three year use in junior high. This would disallow the option for students to receive or purchase a device at the end of 8th grade.

    How much memory do we need on the iPads?

    The iPads proposed have 120 GB of space to ensure enough capacity for the life of the 4 year device.

    If iPads are so much better for the junior highs why were they purchased originally?

    The curriculum at the time (Digits) was not compatible with the iPad however; changes have been made to the program and now works with the iPad.