Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Latest Updates

April 30, 2013

Concerns over plans for Raleigh County student iPads addressed

BECKLEY — Raleigh County School’s announcement that they will be the first county in the state to move all students, second grade and up, to one-to-one computing before Christmas during the 2013-14 school year through a partnership with Apple is a staggering expectation.

But with the announcement comes questions of student responsibility, cyber bullying and Internet safety.

Mary Ann Foster, Raleigh County Schools Technology Coordinator, explained that students in kindergarten and first grade will have one iPad per every two students while second- through 12th-graders will have one iPad for each student. And students third grade and up will be allowed to take their iPads home.

“We believe that if you expect the students to have responsibility, they will be very protective of their technology. Many of these kids have this technology at home,” she said.

“And we are purchasing very protective cases,” she added.

She explained that allowing students to take their iPads home has become a necessity. Each time the school prepares to adopt a new textbook it will be available as an e-book for a fraction of the cost and comes with an array of interactive aspects to boost learning.

Moreover, the West Virginia Department of Education has stated districts will have choices as they adopt new materials and a totally digital curriculum will be one of several state-approved options.

“Students can carry home four or five books or have one iPad,” Foster said.

The district is also hoping that students will take ownership of the integration project by being allowed to personalize their iPad to a certain extent and participating in a district-wide contest to create a name and logo for the initiative.

“Students are going to want to take ownership of it and they are going to be more protective of it. We are not just giving them iPads; we are going to change the way they want to learn and transform the classroom,” she said.

To those who ask about the possibility of parents or students selling the iPad or trading it, Foster replies, “Have you ever seen a kid trying to sell their smartphone? Never. It is a tool they love and they want to use every day,” she said.

In addition, the school district will have a stronghold on the iPad. If the iPad has not been seen in class for a several days, the technology center will be able to lock any user out of it, rendering it useless unless brought back to school.

She said researching other school districts that have leapt into one-to-one computing has shown that having the increase in technology has not led to an increase in cyber bullying.

Students will be required to sign an acceptable use and iPad use policy.

“Student will have accountability. The presence of iPads does not change that. They aren’t going unmonitored or unrestricted,” she explained.

Students who access the Internet on their iPad will have the same Internet filter they do from any school computer, meaning no facebook or other social networking sites.

The school district is not new to putting computers into the hands of students.

In September of 2011, the school piloted one-to-one computing at Trap Hill Middle School with netbooks.

Foster said the experience was a positive one but not one that gives the board a lot of information on which to base this latest venture.

Students were not given the choice to take the computers home and, while it was successful and beneficial to students and teachers, it does not compare to the educational opportunities an iPad offers, she said.

“This is a huge project and when questions get asked it helps us think about solutions. This is our opportunity to transform what learning is about. And our students are ready for it. They are 21st Century Learners. It’s not about the technology, it’s about changing the classroom and the way we teach,” she added.

On Thursday, members of the Raleigh County Technology Department will demonstrate some ways iPad technology will be used in the classroom for seniors at the Raleigh County Commission on Aging.

1
Text Only
Latest Updates
  • new water treatment facility Officials break ground on new waste water facility

    Rain didn’t dampen enthusiasm Thursday when ground was broken for a wastewater plant that will double both the treatment capacity and opportunities for economic development in the Claypool Hill and Wardell communities.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Absentee voting lagging

    Absentee balloting is off to a slow start in a closely-watched Southwest Virginia Senate race that will determine which political party controls the General Assembly.  
    Three candidates are vying to succeed former lawmaker Phillip Puckett, who resigned in June. A special election is set for Aug. 19. The candidates are Republican A. Benton “Ben” Chafin Jr. Democrat D.M. “Mike” Hymes and independent Rick A. Mullins.

    July 25, 2014

  • Civil complaint filed against GM alleging defects caused local woman’s death

    The estate of a young Mercer County woman and her unborn child have filed a civil complaint in Mercer County Circuit Court alleging that a defective ignition switch in the woman’s 2005 Chevy Cobalt led to her death as well as the death of her unborn child.
    Keisha Dawn Vest, 26, of Princeton, the wife of Jason Vest, and mother of a (then) 3-year-old son, was driving to Mt. Airy, N.C., on May 2, 2006, when the brakes on her vehicle failed. Mrs. Vest was working in Mt. Airy as an MRI technician. Without brakes, Mrs. Vest lost control of her vehicle and entered an intersection into the path of a tractor-trailer. She died as a result of the injuries she received in the wreck.

    July 25, 2014

  • ‘Overwhelming:’ Area fans supporting Saints trip to West Virginia

    The community response to the New Orleans Saints’ three-week visit to The Greenbrier for training camp can be described best in one word that Greenbrier owner Jim Justice, Saints general manager Mickey Loomis and Saints head coach Sean Payton all used Thursday when discussing the team’s first 24-plus hours in the Mountain State.
    “Overwhelming,” they all agreed.

    July 25, 2014

  • Va. to join higher education distance learning agreement

    Virginia higher education officials are working to make it easier for students to take online classes and for universities to offer them.

    July 24, 2014

  • Police Brutality screen shot. Technology plays key part in battling police brutality (VIDEO)

    Allegations of police brutality are nothing new -- as long as there has been law enforcement, citizens have registered claims that some officers cross the line. But in the last few years, the claims of excessive force are being corroborated with new technology from cell phone cameras, police dash-cams and surveillance videos. 

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Has the ipad lost its swag?

    July 24, 2014

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 24, 2014

  • McAuliffe heads West to fundraiser

    July 24, 2014