Education Week - November 12, 2014 - (Page 11)

SOME MAJOR K-12 CHROMEBOOK DEPLOYMENTS MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, MD. 40,000 Chromebooks and Android tablets 151,000-student district CHESTERFIELD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, VA. 32,000 Chromebooks 58,000-student district RICHLAND 2 SCHOOL DISTRICT, S.C. 23,000 Chromebooks 27,000-student district CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS, ILL. 16,000 Chromebooks 400,000-student district 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 giant. 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 Gartner. 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." 11,400 Chromebooks 79,000-student district BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS, MASS. 10,000 Chromebooks 57,000-student district BRIDGEPORT PUBLIC SCHOOLS, CONN. 9,000 Chromebooks 23,000-student district OAKLAND UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, CALIF. 8,000 Chromebooks 46,000-student district wanted to select a technology stack consistent with our theories of learning." 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 technology-in action. 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 common document. "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 each other." 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 awesome?" 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 > CHROMEBOOKS ON THE RISE New sales and deployment data show the surging popularity of the inexpensive, Web-based Chromebook inside U.S. K-12 schools. MILWAUKEE PUBLIC SCHOOLS, WIS. EATING INTO TABLETS' MARKET SHARE 50.9 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 44.8% 43.6 44.9 42.8 40.9 29.1 23.8 18.0 13.6 0.69% 2012 Q1'13 Q2'13 SOURCE: Futuresource Consulting, Ltd. Q3'13 Q4'13 Q1'14 Q2'14 14.1 CHROMEBOOK TABLET 41.6 29.4 Perceived Threat To Net Neutrality Sparks Furor 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 content. 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 their peers. 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. Web Commerce 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 July. 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 neutrality. 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 | | 11 Percent of Market

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
Report Roundup
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