E-Edition | The Peach List | Shopper | Observer/Advocate

News and Sports from Windom, MN and surrounding areas | Windom, MN

weather sponsored by

Advanced Search
search sponsored by

The Dish
Help Wanted
Area Churches
Area Sports Schedule
Windom Schools
Social Scene
Citizen Photos
Community Calendar
Cottonwood County Sheriff

home : opinion : editorial June 28, 2016

2/27/2013 9:28:00 AM
Schools and technology

On Monday night, the Windom school board left no doubt that they fully support a big shift toward technology in the classroom.
Of course, the district has already started in that direction with last year's decision to put iPads in the hands of all Windom seniors. In addition, the district has experimented with iPad pilot projects in various elementary classrooms.
However, on Monday, the board made it clear that Windom's technology advance doesn't stop there.
The first hint that the board has much bigger ideas in mind occurred early in the preliminary planning discussion. All seven board members agreed that hiring an assistant technology coordinator is a high priority.
Opinions offered by board members later in the meeting showed exactly why the district will need to bolster its technology staff. Six of seven board members listed as a "high priority" a plan to offer iPads for students in grades 4-12. That plan also calls for iPad pilot projects for students in grades K-3.
The price tag for this iPad system is $251,000.
Some may wonder why board members feel it makes sense to spend this kind of money on the iPad project. There are several reasons:
• It has been demonstrated that iPads are effective at keeping students engaged.
During Monday's meeting, board members heard Windom teachers gush about the effectiveness of iPads in the classroom. Staff members said students' attitudes change almost immediately when iPads become part of the learning process.
Teachers pointed out that students are able to access all sorts of books, research materials and study aid applications through the iPads. Even second-graders have quickly adapted to using iPads in the classroom.
• The students' world is and will continue to be intertwined with the use of technology.
The growth of technology has been phenomenal in recent years and we can only expect that it will grow exponentially over the next decade and beyond. By the time current students hit the job market, nearly every thing they do will be linked to technology.
The sooner we, as a community, help them jump on board this technology train, the more prepared they will be for their careers.
• The iPad technology will help teachers be more efficient and effective.
Multiple times at Monday's meeting, teachers who are part of the iPad pilot projects used the terms "efficiency" and "effectiveness" as they described the impact of this technology. Paper requirements would drop, assignments and grading would get done faster, concerns about lack of understanding would be caught far earlier in the process.
It's clear that the school board is not yet to the point where it can say, "yes, we will proceed with an iPad system for grades 4-12." There is more research to be done, more fine-tuning of the plan, more soul-searching as to how the district would pay for it.
There are still some unknowns out there. For instance, how much new revenue will districts receive from the state? There are indications that revenue will be higher, but no assurances until the budget is set.
In addition, the school board must settle other key priority decisions. The board has rated several items as high priorities, but it cannot afford to address all of them next year.
Some items will be placed on hold. There's also a chance that the iPad implementation will be delayed, or switched to a grade 6-12 system.
Regardless of how the district proceeds, the bottom line is that the Windom school board is taking a progressive look at technology. And in the end, we have no doubt this will benefit students.
- Rahn Larson

ObituariesClassifiedsOpinionColumnsThe DishLegalsContact UsHelp WantedAuctionsCitizen PhotosWedding Planner

Birth, Engagement & Wedding Announcement Forms | Area Classified Ads | Current News | Life


Copyright © 2016 Citizen Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 
P.O. Box 309, Windom, MN 56101 507-831-3455


Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved