Education Week - November 12, 2014 - (Page 11)
SOME MAJOR K-12 CHROMEBOOK DEPLOYMENTS
MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, MD.
Chromebooks and Android tablets
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, VA.
RICHLAND 2 SCHOOL DISTRICT, S.C.
CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS, ILL.
SOURCE: Google; Richland 2 school district
said, was not a device, but a digital
platform: Google's Apps for Education,
a collection of word-processing,
spreadsheet, email, storage,
and other Web-based applications
predicated on making it easier for
students and teachers to work together.
The suite is made available
for free to schools by the Mountain
View, Calif.-based online services
At between $229 and $259
$260 apiece for the school system,
Chromebooks were the most costeffective
way of giving every student
access to those tools.
"The device gets all the attention,"
Mr. Collette said. "But we
and full, high-definition displays.
Apple had an early advantage
with iPads because the devices
were introduced as districts' interest
in 1-to-1 initiatives and
other ambitious technology efforts
were surging, said Ms. Fiering, of
Now, the demands of districts
appear to be changing again.
K-12 systems used to favor a "one
device" approach because they
thought it would bring economies
of scale in purchasing and support
for the technology, and would be
popular with teachers and students,
Ms. Fiering said. But now
district leaders tend to favor devices
suited to "grade bands," or
different age groups.
Once dismissive of Chromebooks'
capabilities, Ms. Abshire
said she is vetting those tools by
piloting them in her district, and
by collecting information from
peers around the country. So far,
she is favorably impressed.
"We're still buying iPads for
diversity, [and searching for] different
technology for different
purposes," she said. "New choices
must be careful choices. You have
to be thoughtful."
BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS, MASS.
BRIDGEPORT PUBLIC SCHOOLS, CONN.
OAKLAND UNIFIED SCHOOL
wanted to select a technology
stack consistent with our theories
On a crisp fall morning before
Halloween, Jill A. Raspen's 6th
grade English class at Ridgeview
Middle School here, offered a
glimpse of those theories-and that
Students huddled in groups of
three or four, discussing "Maniac
Magee," a popular middle-grades
novel. While one group typed notes
about author Jerry Spinelli's use of
metaphors, others detailed his use
of personification, characterization,
and other literary devices.
The whole class was simultaneously
editing the same Google Slides
presentation, with each group responsible
for creating one page of a
"I think it's better than writing
on paper," said 11-year-old Paul
Beltran. "You can see each other's
work, you can give suggestions, and
if something is wrong, you can help
Midway through the period, Ms.
Raspen called upon the groups to
present their slides.
"You have access to all this information,"
the eight-year veteran of
the district told her class when the
presentation was complete. "Now, I
want you to use each other's thinking.
What two pieces of evidence
from someone else's slide can you
use to explain what makes this book
Students typed for 10 minutes,
then submitted their work via a
Google Form (a basic online survey)
that Ms. Raspen created. Their responses
automatically populated a
spreadsheet, which the teacher was
already reviewing as her charges
filed out the door.
In years past, Ms. Raspen said, she
taught an analog version of the same
lesson. Students worked in groups to
create posters, took part in a "gallery
walk" around the room, and wrote
their book reviews by hand. Editing
involved an exchange of paper drafts
PAGE 12 >
ON THE RISE
New sales and deployment data show
the surging popularity of the inexpensive,
Web-based Chromebook inside U.S.
MILWAUKEE PUBLIC SCHOOLS, WIS.
EATING INTO TABLETS' MARKET SHARE
SOURCE: Futuresource Consulting, Ltd.
To Net Neutrality
FCC receives flood of responses
By Sean Cavanagh
Federal officials are moving closer toward setting
policies that could affect net neutrality, a high-stakes
consideration that has generated impassioned responses
from educators and from entrepreneurs trying
to bring new technological resources into schools.
The Federal Communications Commission has been
weighing proposals for most of the year that would
set parameters for neutrality-the idea that content
should flow in an equal and unrestricted way across
the Internet-while also weighing the demands of service
providers who say they should have the right to
earn more for delivering faster or heavier bandwidth
In May, the fcc put forward a plan that many school
officials complained would give Internet service providers
too much power to assign content to fast or slow
delivery lanes. The agency asked for public input on
the proposal, and what came was a deluge: 3.7 million
comments have poured in so far. It's a record response,
according to the fcc, which has not said when it will
announce a final verdict on net neutrality.
Many classroom educators rely on receiving free access
to online videos and other content for curriculum
and instruction-and now fear that their access to
Web-based resources will be cut off or slowed if Internet
service providers get their way.
"Open access to the Internet is liberating to educators
in many ways," Becky Fisher, the director of educational
technology, professional development, and
media services for the Ablemarle County, Va., school
district, said in an interview. "To think that somebody
sitting in a corporate office could take us back [to an
earlier era] is really a step backwards."
Worries about erosion of net neutrality have also
rankled leaders of companies and organizations that
count on being able to deliver educational content to
teachers and schools quickly. One is OpenCurriculum,
a Silicon Valley-based nonprofit that offers a vehicle
for teachers to create and circulate lessons among
If net neutrality were to be diminished, OpenCurriculum
would not be able to pay fees that telecommunications
providers might charge for faster Internet
access, Varun Arora, the organization's ceo, said in
comments to the fcc. Larger companies would be able
to deliver content at "blazing speeds," he added, while
his access to audiences would suffer.
Big media companies would be "given an advantage
on the only medium for us to reach and serve [our]
customers-the Internet," wrote Mr. Arora.
Internet service providers like Verizon and Comcast
have said those fears are overblown. They argue they
should be given the right to recoup the costs of delivering
bandwidth-intensive content-movies delivered
via Netflix are often cited as an example-and that
they should be able to charge more for delivering fast
or specialized content to consumers.
The White House has said it opposes "paid prioritization"
of content. Fcc Chairman Tom Wheeler, a former
technology-company executive and cable-industry lobbyist
who was appointed by President Barack Obama,
has vowed to defend an open Internet and the public's
and schools' unrestricted access to content.
"We are not about to let anyone ... disadvantage
schools by playing around with the ability of schools
to get open access to everything that's on the Internet,"
Mr. Wheeler told Education Week in an interview in
The net-neutrality issue was brought to the fcc's
door most recently when a federal appeals court in the
District of Columbia in January ruled that the agency
did not have the authority to prevent telecommunications
providers from blocking or otherwise discriminating
against certain content providers. The decision
in that case, which stemmed from a lawsuit brought
by Verizon, was widely viewed as a setback for net
Rather than appealing the ruling, Mr. Wheeler
moved to craft rules designed to stand up in court and
provide consumers and content providers with a fair
marketplace. The notice of proposed rulemaking released
by the fcc last spring would have given Internet
service providers the right to make deals to deliver
faster content, as long as they were deemed "commercially
reasonable" by the agency. The fcc also proposed
making those arrangements transparent to the public,
and preserving an open Internet for consumers.
Yet that proposal drew a hostile reaction from
many consumer advocates, who predicted it would
result in the creation of fast and slow lanes for content
delivery. Many of those critics have urged Mr.
Wheeler to assert the fcc's authority under Title II
PAGE 12 >
EDUCATION WEEK | November 12, 2014 | www.edweek.org | 11
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - November 12, 2014
Education Week - November 12, 2014
Republicans Enhance State-Level Advantage
Broad Poverty Index Gives Fuller Picture Of Stressed Schools
Chromebooks Gaining Popularity in Districts
Key Obama Priorities Facing Lack of Allies
News in Brief
Study: Close Screening Process Can Improve Teacher Hires
Study Finds Few Payoffs in Short-Term Career Certificates
Blogs of the Week
Chromebooks Ascend in K-12 Market to Challenge iPads
Perceived Threat to Net Neutrality Sparks Furor
GOP Leaders in Congress Outline Education Priorities
More Than $60 Million Later, Scant Payoff for Teachers’ Unions
California Chief’s Win a Bright Spot For Teachers’ Unions
Election 2014 Results
Blogs of the Week
RANDI WEINGARTEN: Collaboration Takes Two
FATIMA GOSS GRAVES: Overlooked and in Need: Black Female Students
JOE FELDMAN: Grading Standards Can Elevate Teaching
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
APRIL BO WANG: What About Helping Rural Schools?
Education Week - November 12, 2014