MacBooks chosen as technology for 1:1 student access
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Teachers are responsible for much more than just lecturing and assigning homework. It is their responsibility to ensure that their students have the tools necessary in order to succeed. At the start of the 2016-17 school year, the pilot program began.
“It was the responsibility of each of the different teachers to say which device worked best for their class,” physics teacher Oather Strawderman said. Strawderman preferred iPads for his classroom.
A survey was subsequently performed by the University of Kansas. A board of participating teachers would make a decision about which device is most suitable for the one to one technology integration set to begin the 2017-2018 school year. MacBooks or iPads were given to 391 FS students to use in their various classes, while other devices were assigned to nine teachers for their students to use while in that teacher’s room, for their class.
“My class involved a lot of drawing pictures, drawing graphs, writing equations,” Strawderman said. “The sort of note-taking that’s difficult to do on a computer. For my class specifically…the iPad was much more useful in that capacity.”
Though Strawderman said the iPads were better for his classroom, he voted ultimately in favor of the MacBooks. Of the students and teachers who took part in the survey, the majority of them said that the MacBooks were more useful in more of their classes. More issues were also reported with the use of iPads than MacBooks. Stable internet connection, knowledge of the device and the amount of time it took to create curriculum around the devices were consistently issues in tech-mandated classrooms.
“Taking a broader look at which device was more useful for students in general, [it] definitely was the MacBook,” Strawderman said. “The preference for my class was iPads, for how my class works, but just like anything there [are] advantages and disadvantages to different tools,” He, along with eight other Free State teachers voted in favor of MacBooks at a board meeting on Monday, Feb. 17th.
As a result of this vote, committee took the MacBook proposal to the Board of Education to decide whether or not to follow through with this decision, and whether or not the school could afford MacBooks for every student. The meeting took place on Monday, February 28th, and MacBooks were approved for the district in a 6-0 vote. Beginning Fall 2017, a one to one technology program will be in place using MacBooks.