District Administration - December 2012 - (Page 24)
Keene (n.H.) ScHool DiStrict ScHool ADminiStrAtive Unit (SAU) 29
By Jen Chase
Evolving Toward Digital Instruction
iPads replace desktops and textbooks with mobility and enhanced learning in one New Hampshire district.
eene, N.H., is a small New England town best known as home to Keene State College, Antioch College of New England, and a Guinness world recordsetting fall pumpkin festival for the mostlit jack-o-lanterns in one place. But Keene School District SAU 29 wants to be known for its own accolades— top-tier technology—and it’s trying to achieve that by replacing teachers’ desktop computers with iPads and piloting them as replacement textbooks in some classes as Keene explores digital instruction, and moves toward the “electronic book bag” experts say is on the horizon. In late August, the Keene SAU 29 nine-member school board unanimously approved a plan that, in early November, would replace 275 teachers’ desktop computers with an Apple iPad, and in every classroom place an AppleTV—Apple’s digital receiver used to access media content like films and photos on the internet or home- or school-based network. The board also approved two other big purchases: projectors for teachers to plug in their iPad or AppleTV for sharing content
Keene Middle School students research the electronic spectrum of using iPads under the guidance of science teacher Carol Menck Keefe.
Keene (n.H.) ScHool DiSTricT SAU 29
Schools: 7 Students: 3,503 Staff and faculty: 365 District size: 244 square miles Per-child expenditure: $17,985 Percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunches: 30 percent Dropout rate: 6 percent Budget: $63 million URL: www.sau29.org
on large screens in lieu of bulky and dated electronic blackboards; and 100 iPads for students in Keene High School’s Advanced Placement biology class, for teachers at Ford Elementary School, and for a handful of special ed classes throughout the district. The total cost was $435,000. Keene’s forward progress comes as districts nationwide implement 1:1 initiatives—providing laptops or tablets to teachers and students to help increase teacher efficiency and student achievement by enhancing how lessons are both taught and learned. “This is a trend that is moving quickly, in part because those in the large and powerful textbook industry are well aware of the direction that curricula are headed, and are taking steps to move into the digital age with their resources and offerings,” says Leslie Conery, interim chief education officer for the International Society for Technology in Education. “iPads and other tablet computers are especially popular for schools because they are less expensive than stan-
dard laptops, lighter to carry, and there are additional functionalities of a touch screen that are very helpful for teaching and learning for both young children and older learners.” Digitizing Teachers’ Time In September 2011, Keene rebuilt and relocated its 100-year-old middle school from the center of Keene to a bigger and better location in the western part of the town. Keene Middle School Principal Dorothy Frazier says when it was complete, the middle school was a $45 million building replete with some “exciting technology”: ēno Interactive Whiteboards, wireless voice systems that let a teacher’s voice be heard evenly from any classroom seat, carts with iPads for student use, and PC laptops for all teachers. After helping the new school get tech-ready, in the months following its opening Keene’s Director of Technology Mustafa “Moe” Zwebti says he wondered what it would take to raise Keene’s other buildings
24 December 2012
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration - December 2012
District Administration - December 2012
From the Editor
Fab Lab: Using Technology to Make (Almost) Anything!
Neuroscience in Schools
Three Squares at School
Top 100 DA Readers Choose Innovative Products of the Year
District Administration - December 2012