Fifth-grade Sandusky students get iPads

A federal grant has made digital learning possible for fifth-graders in Sandusky Schools.
Alissa Widman Neese
Feb 11, 2013

 

The district this year purchased 300 iPads using funds from Title I, a federal program initiated by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to provide financial assistance to schools whose students are largely from low-income families.

The one-to-one iPad initiative is part of a district-wide effort to integrate technology throughout elementary and middle school classrooms. Sixth-graders have had one-to-one laptop access for several years, while junior high students have shared a limited number of iPads and laptops since last year.

For more on the program and how the students are using the iPads to learn, pick up a copy of Monday's Register.
 

Comments

SamAdams

Awesome. Kids ALREADY don't know how to write or spell! But hey, at least they can play games and go online now! I get that kids need to know how to use a computer. They do NOT need iPads. Is it a nice perk? Heck yeah, maybe I'll go back to fifth grade! Is it necessary? Far from it. And at $400-$500 each, we wonder why the government has a deficit. Hah.

UgtaBkdnMe

Technology is a requirement, mandated by the Ohio Department of Education. There is a whole lot more to what technology allows us to do besides play games.

Unabasho

Read on! Be amazed!
See how may clouds may be found
in silver lining

bluedot

What I found out after reading the comments on the issue of Ipads in the classrooms of SCS was that whatever the district does to enhance academic success for these students will always be a reason for naysayers to point their fingers and find something and I do mean anything negative to say against it. Here's a suggestion, the people in this small area are really connected at the hip that's with industry, retail, restaurants and in some cases even schools. Why not take the gloves of negativity off and just like we teach our children to eat vegetables and respect diversity why not try it yourselves. These children haven't done anything wrong and to blast everything that they do is utterly ridiculous. So you don't think Ipads should be used as a substitute for books try explaining that to Kindle. It doesn't mean that the children are not learning it just means that they are learning differently.

Lakebreeze72

Students need to know written language skills as opposed to more computer skills. The purchase of iPads for all 5th grade students in the district is a frivolous use of funding.

mikel

i have mixed thoughts on this. sam, you hit it right on! american students are falling behind in many areas that require studeous thinking. however, if we don't give them the technology they may fall even further behind.

Contango

I've seen "The Matrix" and I've seen "The Terminator."

I figure that eventually, we either work for them or they try to kill us off. :)

The shareholders of (AAPL) thank you for your generous purchases.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I would like to see a shift in the coming years to more access to tablets (not necessarily Apple but that's a side opinion) for students as in the long run they are much cheaper, easier to update, and less heavy than books. As many schools don't permit bookbags for security reasons this makes sense. Plus it enhances technical knowledge and access to information. Of course options like auto-correct could be turned off to encourage proper spelling and grammar.

This would also mean that homework could be sent right to the tablet by the teacher so there is less paper waste and less excuses of "I forgot it" or "it fell out of my binder". But with the technology MUST come a new way to teach. Because there is so much information out there it is extraordinarily easy to be misled or duped into what is fact or opinion. So classes should enforce a discriminating mind when it comes to what is found on the net. Especially for students who come from various backgrounds that may unfortunately and by no fault of their own already stifle or impair their ability to make good judgments.

jerrybutler40

Here in Adrian (Mi) there's a similar proposal going on and frankly It's a waste of money! I hope Districts around the US realize that there is a time and place for computers, I pads, etc. the classroom is not the place for such a tool.

The Bizness

I as well have mixed opinions on this. I think they are useful when it comes to textbooks and homework but you can get easily side tracked on them.

There are some great apps for learning cursive on them however!

deertracker

21st century anyone?

The Big Dog's back

Right wingers want to go back to the Stone Age.

O'Heritage

So, your idea of living in a modern society means that the government spends all of your money, plus 10 trillion more from the Chinese, so that they can get re-elected and to heck with the future of our once great nation?

Licorice Schtick

He didn't say anything remotely resembling that.

Metalist

Deertracker,
You summed it up. Using a tablet (or some bolted-down equivalent) is going to be a fundamental work skill in the very foreseeable future, like before these fifth graders apply for their first summer job. (That summer job application itself is likely to be online.)

Licorice Schtick

Tablets? Pshaw! Bring back INKWELLS! That will solve EVERYTHING!

thinktwice
AnotherHuronResident

I don't see how this helps kids learn. Kids really need just pen and paper.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/2...

UgtaBkdnMe

Good point, Huron. This money would be better used if it funded vacations and afternoon trists for the top administrator.

Mallory01

Ha ha that was funny!

AnotherHuronResident

“I fundamentally reject the notion you need technology aids in grammar school,” said Alan Eagle, 50, whose daughter, Andie, is one of the 196 children at the Waldorf elementary school; his son William, 13, is at the nearby middle school. “The idea that an app on an iPad can better teach my kids to read or do arithmetic, that’s ridiculous.”

Mr. Eagle knows a bit about technology. He holds a computer science degree from Dartmouth and works in executive communications at Google, where he has written speeches for the chairman, Eric E. Schmidt. He uses an iPad and a smartphone. But he says his daughter, a fifth grader, “doesn’t know how to use Google,” and his son is just learning. (Starting in eighth grade, the school endorses the limited use of gadgets.)

Link in my previous response.

BW1's picture
BW1

Add to his voice that of Internet pioneer Clifford Stoll. Read his book "Silicon Snake Oil."

Education should focus on the base concepts rather than the tool of the month. If you can speak, understand, read, and write standard English with a decent vocabulary, we can provide you with documentation that will allow you to use any tool. If you are comfortable manipulating quantitative expressions, as opposed to using a calculator, you'll grasp higher mathematics. Technology has caused us to focus on the packaging of ideas rather than the logic to critically evaluate or apply those ideas. (Who hasn't seen management be sold on a lousy idea because of a really slick PowerPoint presentation?)

Licorice Schtick

Besides, the iPad is too slippery.

eriemom

"What it all comes down to is that China has a monopoly on 17 hard-to-mine elements that are necessary for making gadgets." From above hyperlink.

The monopoly is also the reason that Chaina can manufacture solar panels much cheaper than US companies. Cause of several bankruptcies.

man_on_the_street

JUST AN INCENTIVE TO GET THEIR 'OPEN ENROLLMENT' STUDENTS BACK SO THEY CAN GET THE $$ FOR EACH WARM BODY. AS SOON AS THEY FINISH 5th GRADE, BACK TO PHS FOR FREE LAPTOP!

Mallory01

Nice. Obviously you don't have students in sandusky city schools? Rude comments like these are better left unsaid. When gunner caves and allows open enrollment for that warm body money, we will see where your comments are. Just leave well enough alone. Thank you. :)

Centauri

Time to get rid of brick and mortar schools and learn from home.

Mallory01

Come on people, everyone complains that Sandusky schools have nothing to offer. Now, they are getting too much? When is anyone ever going to be happy. These iPads are a lifesaver for the teachers. The rooms do not have enough room to allow computers for everyone. Some rooms only have 2 or 3. The iPads allow the students to do research that may not otherwise have been available. I would like to think that the community would be happy. They stay in the classrooms and the students, as of yet, are not allowed to take them home. The online experience has restrictions in place that do not allow for unwarranted websites. The sixth grade got laptops and they stay in the school too. With this procedure in place, hopefully it will help keep the technology fresh for the following classes to enjoy. Let's face it, the world is moving ahead and I for one am glad Sandusky City Schools are doing what they can to make sure that my children are moving forward with the rest of the world. This was no cost to the tax payers and the grant was for iPads and laptops only. So, would you rather the students fall behind and not get use of the grants just because you find it is a waste? Even in a time where a good article is written, there are those skeptics that want to tear the school system down. It is a shame. So, I thank the school board and the people who made it possible for our students to grow from the bottom of my heart! Thank you Sandusky City Schools for another job well done!

TaxRaider

Wow, you complain that the schools aren't preparing students for the future and when they do, you complain they need to stick to the basics. Who can win in the court of public opinion? Ipads and tablets are cheap when you realize how they can be used. They save a considerable amount of money on textbooks, reference materials (encylopedias, dictionaries, maps, etc)and paper. The school districts block games and non-educational applications. Students can learn at their own pace and at their own level. In today's world students will be required to pass many high stakes tests such as the ACT, the Bar Exam, NCLEX (for nursing),etc online, not paper and pencil. Google Pearson Vue and see all of the professional licenses granted based on a computerized test. Soon the GED test will be given on a computer. I suggest you buy stock in Pearson Vue. You are reading the newspaper online, why is it unreasonable for students to also read online?

Mallory01

Ah ha! Well said!

Super Judge

Free breakfast, free lunch, and now a free ipad! At least there is open enrollment for a quality education.

Mallory01

Your name says it all.....

TaxRaider

The Ipad doesn't belong to the students, it is a tool in the classroom. Should school districts charge students for textbooks?

BW1's picture
BW1

"The Ipad doesn't belong to the students"

Not until they "lose" it and are issued another one.

Centauri

"They save a considerable amount of money on textbooks, reference materials (encylopedias, dictionaries, maps, etc)and paper. The school districts block games and non-educational applications. Students can learn at their own pace and at their own level."

Good enough reason to get rid of brick and mortar schools.

TaxRaider

Centauri ... If parents didn't need a babysitter, I think we would see more digital schools. Just look at the number of college and universities offering hybrid educations.

queenjhb

20 years ago sandusky schools were doing everything to help students get ahead, to get a job, then why are these adults on assistance, they can move with all these wonderful skills to other states, do better, be better , they dont have to stay here, or maybe the education they got wasnt all that after all . Experts in the basics first,read,write and math, do those things well and the rest will come.

Mallory01

That would be great. But, I love my city. THAT is why I choose to stay. I went to college... Used the wonderful skills afforded to me at the time. But, when was the last time you were in a classroom or library. No more card catalog. Everything is technical. So, if you learn the math, learn to read, and learn to write, that won't help with the successful jobs out there. Doctors, nurses, lawyers, police, military.... EVERYONE uses some form of technology now. Move with the times and be happy "you" aren't paying for the move forward.

gbi

I couldn't agree with you more, Mallory01. Just consider the fact that the people that are being negative are NOT USING PEN AND PAPER to submit their comments. They are using the same modern technology that they are complaining about. Seems hypocritical. We can still pride ourselves with the fact that we have the ONLY school system in the area that has programs in place that allow students to graduate high school with up to 22 transferable college credits!! Just ignore ignorance. ;-)

TaxRaider

Many area high schools offer students the opportunity to earn college credits but Sandusky High School allows students to earn college credits without leaving the building. My son graduated in 2008 with 16 college credits at no cost to me, or the school district. He had to move to get a job. I believe SHS students can earn as much as 31 transferable college credits without leaving the building.

Mallory01

Good for you and your son! I think it is an awesome opportunity! Thank you for your post!

Licorice Schtick

Inkwells. We need inkwells.

gbi

Good for your son, TaxRaider! My numbers are accurate to date. When summer school was in the budget where students could take core classes in advance and allow room in their schedules for more AP classes, they could earn more than 22. I'm not entirely sure what him having to move has to do with fifth graders getting iPads, but thank you for sharing your story.

TaxRaider

My comment about my son moving is in reaction to the blogger who made a comment about "20 years ago", the blogger left me the impression that Sandusky City Schools must not have done a good job educating students if they couldn't move on to greener pastures. I don't know much about AP classes, but I do know the tech prep programs offer students the opportunity to earn college credits through BGSU Firelands. My 8th grade niece came home with the course selection guide and it says students in the business management program can earn 31 credits during their junior and senior years.

donutshopguy

TaxRaider,

I believe you are mistaken in regards to your son's college credits being no cost to the school. As in open enrollment, the state money provided by the state follows your son. Thus, the college providing the college education receives a portion of that money.

Just to clarify the situation.

UgtaBkdnMe

Donut,

Apparently you don't understand career-tech funding and earning college credits through career-tech programs. The district does NOT pay any funding for the college credits. You must be referring to the post-secondary option program that your district has. Huron sends all of it's career-tech students to either EHOVE or Sandusky High.

donutshopguy

gbi,

Transferrable to what colleges?

Mallory01

That's all you took out of that post? OBVIOUSLY you didn't go to Sandusky and earn those credits!

TaxRaider

Transferrable to any state college/university in Ohio through the Ohio Board of Regents Transfer Assurance Guides.

Mallory01

Wow! You are on this! My children are young, but you can bet we will benefit from these advantages!

TaxRaider

I'll let you in on a secret, I'm not from this area, and I don't live in Sandusky. I chose to send my son to Sandusky High School through open enrollment because of their engineering program.

Mallory01

And, we were glad to accommodate you and your son to better his education. Maybe if there were more people out there that would come forth and tell the good Sandusky has to offer.......

gbi

Good for you, Tax Raider!!!! Sincerely.....so many outside of the district don't have the guts to drop their foolish pride long enough to recognize that SHS can not beat when it comes to educational opportunities. Thank you.

TaxRaider

Don't thank me .... I am thankful that Sandusky High School educated my son in academics and the real-world. My son had the opportunity to go to school with a very diverse student body, diverse in ethnicity, economically, and physically(handicapped students are not shipped out). My son had the chance to develop the social skills needed for the diverse world.

UgtaBkdnMe

These are transcripted credits and must be accepted by ANY Ohio (state) funded college or university.

donutshopguy

Mallory01,

You are correct I didn't graduate from SHS and earn those credits. But, I was interested in where those credits could be applied. UgtaBkdnMe answered my question in a simple adult manner.

underthebridge

I'm not against adding technology, but I think that this kind of (largely) unsupervised access to the internet isn't safe or appropriate for students in 5th grade. A school district, unless it has set up an "intra-net" rather than provide internet access can't keep up with restricting access to all sites. For instance, Facebook has about 180,000 servers that are all under the facebook.com server. The kids at Perkins would figure out a new name of a (mini) server and by the time the school figured it out, the kids were on to the next one. I'd suggest it was the same for Twitter or Instagram too. I'm not saying that there aren't advantages, but I tend to not think it is the "magic bullet" that many school districts promote it as.

As much as Perkins promotes their 1-to-1 laptop initiative, it hasn't upgraded Perkins Ohio Department of Education District Report card. In 2012, Perkins renewed the 3 year lease for the student laptops for about $2.7 million. Their report card from the state has flat-lined for years.

So, could the I-pads provide some advantages of being a substitute for books that are specifically downloaded? Yes. Are there risks that need to be considered? Yes. My concern is that the risks (i-chatting, cyber bullying, etc) are downplayed.

Mallory01

My daughter is in the 5th grade so I have a little knowledge about the iPads. This is a new program, obviously. They do not use them all throughout the day. They use them when they have finished their work and need to look up research or they can use them for math apps and many other age appropriate apps to aid in the educating of the students. They are kept locked up and the teachers release them to the students. As of yet, the books are not being replaced by these tablets. But, maybe in the future they will. I know all to well about the laptops at Perkins. And, to be honest, I feel they are not being used to their fullest potential. There are several students that I know that used them for nothing but a DVD player and music player. They didn't use them for school at all. Now, this is an isolated incidence and there very well may be students who are using them for their purpose. To my knowledge the students have no access on the iPads to any chatting sites and stuff. And yes, where there is a will there is a way! But, we are talking about 5th graders. Most are happy to just be able to touch an iPad. There are probably those few who might be able to maneuver around the sites, but they don't use them enough to have the time allowance to do this.

underthebridge

I'm glad to hear that the 5th students don't have complete access to them. One of the things that Perkins had problems with the first year they released the laptops is that the the i-chat had not been disabled and furthermore, the kids we downloading copies of yahoo i-messenger on to them for instant messaging. This created some problems with instant messaging each other during the day and was even cited as a contributing factor in a bullying incident. Again, I'm not against technology but I also think that there are risks associated with their use by younger students that should not be ignored.

luvblues2

I highly doubt that grade school kids would be able to freely access the internet. As, underthebridge stated, it would be intranet only. Also protections would be in place to assure that each student had a password and user ID and would only be able to access his/her homework or assignment for that day. That stops cheating and looking around where they don't belong. Colleges have been doing so for years.

24productions

...underthebridge has a great point. And home teaching, while the idea may seem grand, is only problematic for a childs future. Maybe protection from a bully seems great, maybe being subjected to the reality, would teach children to cope with rejection, doubt, and success. You can't expect much from an arguement online, but a physical, face to face debate is what can be necassary for ones success. I do however agree for the furthering of technological advancement, and as long as the faculty, and assistance staff apply strict surveyance and accountability, can this help our children flourish.

Super Judge

Half of them will go missing before the end of the first week.

Mallory01

Oh ye of little faith. They don't leave the building and are locked up when not in use.

Super Judge

are you threatening me?

Mallory01

Huh? How did you even see that as a threat? I just meant have a little faith. And, in case you don't have faith, they are locked up when not in use. That is all. No threat intended.

Super Judge

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Super Judge

Remember this when they want more tax dollars. The school just spent over $100,000 on this.

Mallory01

Is there something wrong when I post? Uncle Tom? Seriously? I honestly do not understand. But, I will end this dispute. I was not name calling.... Threatening......or even trying to bash you in any way.

Super Judge

So this is how you treat a elderly veteran? The shame, the shame!

Super Judge

a blind veteran at that.

UgtaBkdnMe

How do local tax dollars fit into this? This is funded by Title money from the federal government and fits the guidelines in which the money was given.

gbi

@ Super Judge......"the schools" didn't use a dime of tax payers money. Use your keyboard to do research BEFORE you post comments. It will help with the level of ignorance/intelligence you display.

Trustafarian

I'm loving this.

Super Judge

Me too.

SamAdams

Too many people here are missing the point. It's not "anti-technology" to oppose these iPads. It's a combination of kids too young for iPads and $100,000 or more that might have been spent on some of the basics schools are crying they don't have.

There's no point in teaching a child to use an iPad when they can't read and write at grade level unless that point is to KEEP their reading and writing below par. The same argument applies to calculators in math class. Did I get to use a calculator? Yes, once I reached advanced levels (second year algebra and beyond). But students, including me, had to know and understand the basics first!

I use a computer every day, and I appreciate the technology more than I can express. But a couple of computers per class is ample for research purposes (for which they're doubtless invaluable) as well as to show kids the rudiments of computer use (which at age 10 is all they SHOULD be taught).

Again, this is a waste of taxpayer dollars in many ways, and also serves to put students still further behind in the basics. Without a solid educational FOUNDATION, it doesn't matter that you know how to fill a job application out online. If you can't spell "resume" or "previously," I'm not hiring you. Get a solid, a REALLY solid underpinning first, and THEN teach the kids how to use an iPad!

Licorice Schtick

At last! Someone who agrees that we should bring back INKWELLS!

Super Judge

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Mallory01

The point is absolutely being missed! I take offense that it is assumed and insinuated that the students cannot read or write. How presumptuous of you. Is all the opposition because you do not want to see SCS flourish? The community needs improvement, why not try to begin with the children? They don't get to keep them. They are property of the schools. They were funded through a grant, and I am happy to say the Wightman-Wieber foundation. They are used as a supplement, not an answer. And, 3 computers are not enough. They are not enough to help the children succeed in the areas where the state is pushing growth. There are so many expectations now as compared to the days when I was in school. While I think the arguments are fair, maybe you should, as a community member, ask to send some time in the schools and see what is expected of the students now as compared to then. And, the teachers have more to deal with too.

Super Judge

my blue ribbon panel plans on addressing some of your concerns.

Trustafarian

I think she spit out the hook. That was fun. Excellent trolling Super Judge.

Super Judge

ty

arnmcrmn

Kids are falling behind because lazy parents think that education starts and ends at the school doors.

hometownboy

Why is it that the state of Ohio is so backwards when it comes to education? There are southern states that have a lot more common sense than here when it comes to preparing children for the world they will enter.

For some of you out there sadly I'm delivering news to you when I say, there is a world outside the borders of Sandusky and we need to teach our kids to survive and thrive where ever they decide go and call their home. We are living in a world in motion folks. The world is becoming more and more global and we all need to take a step back and question whether the way we are teaching our children is preparing them so that they can have a part in it.

Further, we also need to find other ways to fund things like this that are needed so that the tax payer isn't shouldering the brunt of it (I don't like levies and neither does anyone else).

For these kids with IPads, this is a leg up in their education and we should support things like this no matter whether its Sandusky, Perkins, Huron or Milan. This is what schools should be purchasing.

Even more, most of us can't even compare our education to what they have now and have NO BUSINESS doing so. Don't care about how you were educated back in the day by crackie as this is about them and giving them what they need to succeed just as what was given to us back when we were coming up. We live in a totally different world now and we need to equip our kids to be ready for it.

Mallory01

Thank you! :)

luvblues2

http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/

What it can and can't do. These are also controlled by the IT dept. If the IT dept, is inept, that's who to blame. There is no random BS if the IT dept. has it together.

luvblues2

The first thing an IT person learns is hardware and software and how to build them. The second thing is networking and how to block certain things and let different depts have access to only the things they need access to. (for example: the sales people do NOT need to have admin rights to the server nor does Joe Blow from Kokomo from the Help Desk need to access all files.) Last but not least, a good IT would also certify in Security. That is one of the most important things.

queenjhb

Just saying, if you cant read, write or do math really well, really well, all this technology wont change that fact, besides if you are really good in the basics, then technology should be part of your class experience. Many of us have kids that will do great nomatter what, the average kid and below average should be getting that extra attention to become the very best. Mallory your kids will do well with or w/out ipads. Get everyone up to excellent in the basics then bring on the technology. There are great success stories coming out of sanusky schools ,many more arn't so great. Ipads will not change this fact. Basics first,be excellent at this ,then welcome technology.

luvblues2

I tend to disagree on this one, queenjhb. Some kids do very well with the tech than they do with the old pencil and paper. It comes down to stimulation of the brain. My brain is not the same as yours, anymore than our finger prints are the same. You can write on a chalk board all day that 1+1=2. The child may or may not get it. If you give him one apple to hold in his hand and then another one for the other hand, it all of a sudden becomes relevant. We do not all learn in the same fashion.

RemorselessEverMore

"The district this year purchased 300 iPads using funds from Title I, a federal program initiated by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act..."

Waste of government funds... God forbid they restock their library. What the hell happened to books? Before you know it, Apple will release an iTeacher. "one-to-one"... What ever happened to tutoring "one ON one"?

luvblues2

What public school did you go to? When I was in school it was anywhere from one ON twenty, to one ON thirty. I've not once witnessed a class where there was one teacher per student in the public school system.

queenjhb

A lot of great opinions on this subject, shows that we all really care for all these kids.luvblues 2, thanks for the reminder that we all dont learn the same way, I did lose sight of that. Whatever happens I really wish all these children the best education possible

hometownboy

What happened to books? That's what the printing industry says. Things are going more and more digital as the price of books goes higher and higher. In many cases, the e-book is cheaper than the old fashioned printed.

Not only that but kids and adults, when having to read the classics (i.e. Poe, Shakespeare, Thoreau...you get the picture), can get them for free and read them on their own screen without having to visit a library. If they want to print it up or just a page they can do that.

Black Wolf's picture
Black Wolf

I think thats stupid that they are getting IPads.