Dr. Dance wrote a letter dated February 24, 2016 to the County Council because it sounds like the County Council members have been hearing complaints about STAT and the BCPS budget: “Many of you may have received questions from your constituents regarding Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow (S.T.A.T.).”
The link includes the full text of what Dr Dance wrote and a response by some very astute citizens who reached out to a local blogger. Read this extremely well-written summary of the current situation.
Below was posted in the comments section of this blog and is in response to the two letters in Traveling at the Speed of S.T.A.T.
“Great post!!! As far as the question of other school districts…
These 1:1 programs have proven unwieldy in many large school districts and have been abandoned because of logistics, lack of positive long-term learning outcomes, and intractable problems with student digital distraction, online “hacking,” and ergonomic fallout — computer vision syndrome and neck pain — among students. But most of all, it has been the ballooning costs.
Despite assurances to the contrary, many problems found in school districts in Fort Bend, Texas; Huntsville, Alabama; Hoboken, New Jersey; Broward County, FL, as well as counties across New York State and elsewhere are already plaguing the 1-1 initiative here. (See links below).
Here are a few of many related links…. Nearly all of these laptop or tablet initiatives had access to multiple sources of digital curricula, some of it decent, and still ran into numerous problems. School districts, especially ones similar to Baltimore County, often killed the 1:1 programs—including Broward County, Fla., which saw the financial-debacle writing on the wall and scaled back its tech rollout to be more financially feasible and educationally sound.
A partial, but telling list (would love to hear of more): — JCS
Hoboken, New Jersey ditched laptops, 2014, from a Columbia University-based site
“Hoboken school officials were also worried they couldn’t control which websites students would visit. Crocamo installed software called Net Nanny to block pornography, gaming sites and Facebook. He disabled the built-in web cameras. He even installed software to block students from undoing these controls. But Crocamo says students found forums on the Internet that showed them how to access everything.”
Re: Fort Bend and other districts in Texas, which abandoned its tablet program
From the story.. [School board member] Rosenthal says he wondered at the time. “Where was the evidence? And there wasn’t any evidence. … They were going to do this thing whether it made sense or not.”
Miami-Dade and Broward County, Fl. pulled back partly because 1-1 was incredibly costly for larger school districts with many diverse needs, 2013
“This is about being prudent, pragmatic, and cautious,” said Sylvia J. Diaz, the district’s deputy superintendent for innovation and school choice. “It’s not that we don’t want to give kids the tools they need to be successful, but we want to do it in a way that is not going to be disruptive or wasteful.”
New York Times overview, previous wave, same problems
“After seven years, there was literally no evidence it had any impact on student achievement — none,” said Mark Lawson, the school board president here in Liverpool, one of the first districts in New York State to experiment with putting technology directly into students’ hands. “The teachers were telling us when there’s a one-to-one relationship between the student and the laptop, the box gets in the way. It’s a distraction to the educational process.”
A 2015 story on the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) disaster, with new material not brought up by BCPS administrators (btw, STAT is set to expand again, without time to fully evaluate the pilot):
“Two years ago, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) tried an interesting new experiment: give every student a tablet computer equipped with a digital curriculum. It was a bold move that was supposed to push Los Angeles public schools into the 21st century. It turned out to be a disaster.”
Also, here are a couple of the actual independent studies out there.
“Traditional students may suggest that they that they are good at multitasking, and therefore desire to use laptops in class. Some educational professionals even claim that because of the digital revolution, Generation Y learns differently than other generations (Prensky, 2001). However, research suggests that the current generation does not learn differently than other generations (Bennett, Maton, & Kervin, 2008; Devers, 2012), that students do poorly when multitasking (Dretzin, 2010; Ophir, Nass, & Wagner, 2009; Rubinstein, Meyer, & Evans, 2001; Tugend, 2008), and that using laptops during class hinders learning (Fried, 2008; Hembrooke & Gay, 2003; Sana, Weston, & Cepeda, 2013; Truman, 2005).”
Story on the 65-country OECD report on technology in schools…
The report itself, see Executive Summary http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/students-computers-and learning_9789264239555-en
“And perhaps the most disappointing finding of the report is that technology is of little help in bridging the skills divide between advantaged and disadvantaged students. Put simply, ensuring that every child attains a baseline level of proficiency in reading and mathematics seems to do more to create equal opportunities in a digital world than can be achieved by expanding or subsidising access to high‑tech devices and services.”