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D210 Board: Are iPads an Answer to Academic Engagement?

Find out what methods produce instantaneous results.

On the heels of a curriculum instruction update at Thursday's Lincoln-Way Community High School Board of Education meeting, a team of instructional technologists passed out iPads. The board was asked a simple question: Who's you favorite mascot?

No, there was no time to review notes or discuss the matter from their seats in the board room at Lincoln-Way Central High School. The question demanded a rapid response, and they each obediently input their responses—Knight, Griffin, Phoenix or Warrior. Serving in the temporary role of teacher, the technology specialist stood before board members and spotted their individual responses in a matter of seconds.

The iPad for education is part of a trending wave among educators looking for new methods to improve instruction in the 21st century. The iPad for classroom use is a tool that provides the teacher instantaneous results. It tests the effectiveness of a lesson.

Board members agree that the nifty lightweight iPad, which is about the size of a notebook, could enhance the curriculum at the schools. For teachers, it's a great tool that lets them know if the lesson plan was clear; who understood the lesson and who didn't quite catch on.  

The teacher can choose to highlight a specific response and forward that to fellow IPad users. At the same time, the tool allows the teacher to maintain the author's anonymity, which is crucial in a teacher-student relationship.

The board was not seeking to commit to the purchase of iPads at the moment; however, the instructional technologists made a case for an eventual purchase.

Drop in state funding is bound to make technology purchases tougher

The board listened to reports from the foundation committee chair along with the updates from Student Council representatives, and then took a few minutes to bemoan the ongoing loss of state funding. Superintendant Lawrence Wyllie told the board that last year the district received $9 million from the state to help operate the schools. This year, it will receive $2.3 million less. Continued cuts in state funding has the board sharpening its pencil to cut corners.  

Bid accepted for revamped lighting system at LWC and LWE

As part of a process to keep the buildings updated, both LWC and LWE are needing a lighting system overhaul. Assistant Superintendent for Business Ronald Sawin reported that the florescent bulbs currently in use at the two buildings are out-dated and money sapping. Having sought bids to retrofit the lighting system, the board awarded the project to ACI, Inc. for $145,409. However, if the project is completed before the end of December, Sawin said, the district qualifies for a grant from the state's Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The grant would be $77,000, which brings down the cost of retrofitting to $68,000.

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Will County Resident November 16, 2012 at 03:09 PM
No. This is not the answer to anything. This is the answer to people screwing around on the devices, playing games, and messaging each other. They will figure out a way to install apps without your knowledge, and they will use them. On top of that, Ipads are ridiculously expensive and completely locked down to the whims of Apple, who could decide they are obsolete any day and force the school district to spend money upgrading them if they ever became a crucial role in the lesson plan. Purchasing Ipads for any use in the classroom is the biggest mistake this school district could make. They will either be abused or not used.
Mokena Mike November 16, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Only the devil's minions use iPads...
lala November 16, 2012 at 06:50 PM
"This year, it will receive $2.3 million less" and "LWC and LWE are needing a lighting system overhaul." Shouldn't they focus on these two rather than iPads? How many kids were A+ students without iPads? Think of the theft opportunity. I imagine the kids would not be allowed to take these home so how does it help with homework?
Mokena Mike November 17, 2012 at 04:29 AM
I wonder if any other schools in the world are using iPads...or is Lincoln-Way the only school with this crazy idea?
Barney December 27, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Lala, what are the chances that it would take you a minimum 45 minutes to figure out how to turn on an iPad?

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