Similar to the plan to bring iPads to West St. Paul’s school district, Farmington hopes to do the same. However, according to a recent Letter to the Editor in the Farmington Independent penned by two current school board members, the board plans to take the time to ensure the teachers and the district really are ready to go about putting iPads in the classroom and this may mean a slower rollout than the staff desires.
From the Letter to the Editor:
The Farmington School District is working on a plan to provide customized learning for every one of our students. A key part of that plan is putting a personal learning device is every student’s hands.
We fully back this initiative. From our discussions, it appears that all of the other Farmington School Board members do as well.
There’s almost no question that iPads will start showing up in students’ hands this fall.
But some board members, both of us included, have questions about how fast we go. For instance, will every student have an iPad by the end of the next school year, or is it a better idea to phase in the iPads over two or three school years.
The iPads are an exciting and necessary step forward for our schools. Sharp questioning of our staff by school board members about how we do this is an important part of making sure that the board and our community can move ahead with confidence.
While there are plenty members of the public clamoring for iPads in the classrooms, many others may definitely agree with the direction laid out here by two members of the Farmington School Board. There is only some doubt that technology in the classroom is important and can definitely be beneficial but it really all depends on how it is used and how the teachers/staff implement their use. It would appear that a staggered approach to rolling out the iPads to entire district would be a relatively conservative one and being that school budgets are down and classroom costs continue to rise, it may make the most sense to approach any new classroom technology in this manner–especially one which teachers may simply not understand all that well.
What do you think about the guidance offered by Tim Burke and Julie McKnight regarding iPads in ISD192’s classrooms next year? Do you think that a more conservative approach, as they seem to best support is the way to go or do you believe that every student must have one in their hands in order to get this done quickly and effectively? Are you concerned that they will simply be large paperweights or causes for distraction/theft? Do you believe teachers are properly equipped to roll these out to their students and use them more effectively than more traditional methods? Whatever you have to say about the Farmington School Board’s possible plans for iPads in the classroom go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.