Like textbooks, every student in the Clarinda Community School District may soon be assigned a personal computing device to be used in and out of the classroom.
A report from the newly formed district technology committee was reviewed Monday, Jan. 16, by the Board of Directors for the school district. The report focused on research being conducted by the committee to provide each student with their own device.
Currently, the district has enough devices that each student could use a computer or iPad as needed for a particular class. However, those devices are checked out and returned each class period so they are available for the next class rather than remaining with a given student.
Directors Nola Bond and Greg Jones, who serve on the committee, updated the board on its efforts. Members of the committee recently visited Lewis Central to see how that school district had integrated the use of Chromebooks into the classroom to enhance the learning process.
“They hosted us all day and showed us through their middle school. Not only did we pick up things around technology, but we also picked things about the general classroom and good benchmarking,” Bond said.
A second site visit is planned for Friday, Jan. 27, in Johnston to see how iPads are being used in that school district. Clarinda presently uses a combination of Chromebooks and iPads. The committee is evaluating if one specific device or the combination of the two devices would be best for the students of the district.
“They’re collaborating with their peers and they’re finding out what other people are doing,” Jones said.
Bond said the committee is excited about moving toward a one-to-one ratio of devices to students. She said the visit to Lewis Central also provided insight on how to handle some basic problems that will inevitably arise with students being issued their own device.
“I think some of the fears are what if a student damages it. One of the things Lewis Central said, which everyone in the room was nodding, was what would we do if it was a textbook? That seemed to calm some of them,” Bond said.
“Now, we’re down to defining what is one-to-one, and what does that mean. It might mean something different to each building, each grade level and each department,” Jones said.