|By: Ara Aslanian|
This past week I was honored to be invited to join and chair the
La Ca�ada Flintridge Unified School District's Technology Review Committee. Being a graduate of La Canada High School, I am extremely excited to be a part of this evolution; bringing change by means of technology in an effort to improve peoples experiences is one of the major reasons why I love what we do.
One of the main issues concerning the committee is planning a strategy to implement tablets and digital textbooks to replace the heavy textbooks each student carries everyday in their backpack. As iPads and other tablets become an everyday part of life, schools all around the world are faced with a fast changing educational platform. In fact, many schools have begun pilot programs which implement iPads in the classroom; thus far, the results have demonstrated significant improvement in the learning experience.
While iPads and Tables represent a great addition to a student's learning abilities by introducing interactive learning tools, there are many challenges that parents and schools will face in the coming years during this transition. Apple has made it its new mission to replace every textbook with an iPad, partnering with major textbook publishers to transform the printed textbook to interactive digital learning tools.
|Hawaiian Volcano |
2011 Kamoamoa Fissure Eruption
Imagine a student in a geography class learning
about the Hawaiian volcanoes and being able to click a link that will take him or her to an actual satellite image of the volcano using Google Earth, or being able to watch a YouTube video of the actual eruption embedded into the textbook just like this.
All these great tools will come at a price for the parents and the districts; the vast majority of parents will not be able to afford the $499.00 price tag for an iPad or the licensing fees for the textbooks, estimated to be around $14.99 per student per textbook. Furthermore, ongoing budget cuts will make it more difficult for schools to purchase iPads or other tablets for every single student.
Many schools don't have the technological infrastructure in place to handle this adaption; many teachers are not familiar with the technology and will have a large learning curve to overcome.
Recently, the Obama administration addressed the matter, stating, "We're not talking about the print-based textbook now being digital. We're talking about a much more robust and interactive and engaging environment to support learning." They have hopes that within 5 years, more schools will become a part of the evolution.
If you are a parent with children in grades K-12, your point of view would be very helpful to me and the committee and I would highly appreciate your comments and feedback.
Below are are some great articles written by Greg Boyrazian from CES 2012 which were featured on our blog.