Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 15
peers, especially for completing homework.
At home, she says, the device was used by every
member of her family. On a given weekend, her
parents might use the tablet to review the school’s
digital dashboard to check her grades, while Camacho might use it to tutor her younger sister in fractions by scanning YouTube for instructional videos.
For her own work, she recently used it to figure out
a calculus concept that had confused her.
at her home in Riverside,
Calif., using a mix of
handwritten notes along
with an iPad that she uses
to read and do research.
measurable impact, he says.
During the 2011-12 school year,
Mike Muir, the multiple-pathways
leader who executes districtwide
projects for the Auburn school system in Maine, approached Bebell
with the promise of a compelling
experiment: What would happen
if you gave every kindergartner in
an entire school district an iPad?
The 3,600-student district wanted
to see whether, by providing early
access to such technology, they’d
see a spike in early literacy scores
as a result.
As part of the experiment with
the district’s 16 kindergarten
classrooms, half received randomly assigned iPads at the start
of the 2011-12 school year. The remaining classes received them 12
weeks later, allowing for a perfect
randomized controlled trial.
According to Muir, the pupils with the first cycle of iPads
outperformed their non-iPad
peers on all 12 district literacy
The instructional strategies for
the two cohorts were not much
lunch, and their families typically do not own PCs,
tablets, or other computing devices.
Instead, the school purchased 2,100 Lenovo tablets
at $180 per device. “They’re nothing fancy,” says Ward.
“But they get the students where they need to go.”
Ward sees the tablets as essential tools in helping
to “close the achievement gap and bridge the digital
divide.” Because neither teachers nor administrators can predict when learning will occur, she views
the home piece as an essential part of the 24/7
“There’s no way to bring students into the 21st
century if they can’t then take their devices home
with them every day,” she says.
Her former student Ariel Camacho, an 18-yearold senior, remembers the days of lugging six textbooks from home to school, and back home again.
Her tablet now contains everything she needs to get
her schoolwork done, such as digital textbooks, class
notes, written assignments, and group projects.
Camacho, who was recently accepted into
Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and will be
the first college student in her family, describes
the tablets as “helping to level the playing field
between my classmates.” Mostly, she sees the
devices as having a motivating effect among her
different. Muir believes that part
of the success was due to the fact
that the students using the iPads
received immediate feedback and
more time was available for independent work.
“The district was able to use
that information, making it a
point of pride in the community,”
says Bebell. “It’s given this district
a new breath of life.”
Because of its success, the district recently footed the bill to
expand the iPad program to 1st
grade this past fall and to 2nd
grade in September 2013.
“It’s really exciting to see kindergarten kids walk up to adults and
explain what they’re doing. We
have classrooms that would knock
your socks off,” says Muir, who has
hosted visitors from all over the
state and the world who hoped to
see how they might replicate the
“Just last week, we had a group
visiting from Japan, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Australia,”
Muir says. “And we’re grabbing a
ton of data all along the way.” n
To protect a $1.3 million district investment in new
MacBooks, the superintendent of schools in Natick,
Mass., Peter Sanchioni, secured a personal investment
from each family to deter theft and misuse. All students
now pay a $75 fee to take school-issued laptops home.
In addition, each school-issued laptop comes
equipped with its own gps device and protective case.
The $75 student-user fee helps to offset costs associated with the stocking of spare parts, repairs, and
student subscriptions to Microsoft Office. In the case
of damage or loss, the district has a tiered approach
for repair. While minor wear and tear is covered by
the annual $75 laptop fee, a broken DVD drive costs
an additional $100, a cracked screen costs $200 to repair, and a lost or stolen laptop requires that a student
replace the device’s full value.
He notes that in last year’s pilot initiative with the
district’s 8th graders, fewer than five percent of the
laptops had any damage.
Concerns related to damage aside, Mark Warschauer,
an education professor and associate dean of the school
of education at the University of California, Irvine, has
found that even when students already had computers
at home, they were generally more inclined to do homework on the laptops they used at school.
“When you have a device that has all of your projects and information on it, there’s a natural, integrated way to bring work back and forth between
school and home,” he says.
Integration rules the day at the Mooresville
Graded School District in Mooresville, N.C. The district is in its sixth year of a digital-conversion initiative. Every student in 3rd to 12th grade is supplied
with his or her own school-issued laptop, with 4th
graders and above required to take them home.
Mark Edwards, the superintendent, says the 1-to-1
program has breathed new life into the 6,000-student district.
“We’ve always heard that learning does not stop
at 3 o’clock,” says Edwards. “Our students are voracious learners between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Now, we
can provide them with the tools and the resources
that connect and compel them to keep on learning
at home.” n
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TECHNOLOGY COUNTS 2013
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Technology Counts - March 14, 2013
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013
Tackling a ‘Complicated’ Digital Task
Faster Internet Speeds Wanted
E-Rate Assistance Needed Beyond School Walls
1-to-1 Building Blocks
Districts See Value in Ensuring Home-School Connections
Designing Better PD Models
Ed-Tech Training Options
Designing a New Digital Look
Spaces for Blended Learning
K-12 Technology Usage
Data Development Drives Change
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 1
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 2
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - Contents
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 4
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 5
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 6
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - Tackling a ‘Complicated’ Digital Task
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - Faster Internet Speeds Wanted
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 9
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - E-Rate Assistance Needed Beyond School Walls
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 11
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - Districts See Value in Ensuring Home-School Connections
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 13
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 14
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 15
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - Designing Better PD Models
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 17
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - Ed-Tech Training Options
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 19
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - Spaces for Blended Learning
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 21
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 22
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 23
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - K-12 Technology Usage
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 25
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - Data Development Drives Change
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 27
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 28
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 29
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - 30
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - Cover3
Technology Counts - March 14, 2013 - Cover4