Ipads Part Two:
I wrote briefly about this topic last week but considering the volume of communication I have received I need to further clarify the circumstance. Last week I shared that the purchase of Ipads, and the giving of Ipads to charter high school students was a decision made by the charter school administration. Many questions have come up around this issue and I want to address them:
Why Would a School Purchase Ipads At All?
I view Ipads as tools/resources; much like a text book, a calculator or a computer. We regularly purchase tools/resources to help with instruction. In fact, this year Corbett School purchased 100 Ipads for use in all grades K-12 because in our estimation they are a great tool/resource!
Why did the Charter School give an Ipad for all of the Charter High School Students and Corbett School did not?
Put simply, I cannot support a program that amounts to giving each student $350 dollars to do with what they please. Ipads, like text books and computers, are tools/resources that provide the most benefit to the most students when they are shared. We check out text books, uniforms, computers, to students all of the time….but we do not give those resources away. I do not think we should start giving away resources.
I understand that other schools and administrators may see this differently, which is OK, but I believe that there is more educational benefit by keeping the resources for the use of many students over multiple years.
What about equity?
Of all of the concerns I have heard this is the most prevalent. At the heart of the issue is should Corbett School follow suit with Corbett Charter School simply to keep things equal? My answer is “no” and “yes”.
I do not feel that Corbett School should give Ipads to all high school students simply because the Charter School gave Charter high school students Ipads. My reasoning for this decision has been stated.
However, if there is any concern that the playing field in classrooms has somehow been tilted because some students have access to Ipads and some do not, then I am concerned and my answer for equity is “yes”. With that in my mind, I am prepared to check out an Ipad to any Corbett School student in grades 9-12 who believes that the use of an Ipad will help them in school. This program is no different than any program where we loan students tools/resources like text books to help with their learning.
The primary advantage of this plan is that the tool/resource will continue to benefit Corbett students for years to come. Mr. Pearson will handle the distribution and particulars of the Ipad check out program; look for more information in the near future.