Monday, September 23, 2013

CMS teachers get tablets and training

Some people have asked about Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' plans to give teachers tablets and expand the district's  "bring your own technology"  program.  Here's the update Superintendent Heath Morrison sent the school board Friday:

"During the past year, Technology Services has completed upfitting CMS technology infrastructure, installing wireless connectivity in all CMS bricks-and-mortar classrooms, and increasing Internet bandwidth. We are now able to support Bring Your Own Technology in all schools."

"This year, the technology focus is on providing technology tools for teaching and improving classroom technology by increasing the number of mobile devices available for students and teachers. Additional classroom sets of iPads have been delivered to K-5 and K-8 schools. Mobile carts of Chromebooks have been delivered to middle schools. All K-5 classroom teachers have been assigned an iPad."  

HP Revolve tablet
"Beginning next week, we are giving an HP Revolve touch-screen Windows 8 tablet to each teacher in grades six through 12 to support technology integration. The teachers will also receive training and have individual questions answered to continue integrating technology into their teaching. School leaders may opt to give out the devices and train teachers at a regularly scheduled staff meeting or in small groups during planning periods." 

"This is the first time that CMS has provided such technology to every K-12 teacher. We will also provide professional development throughout the year to help teachers achieve the next level of technology integration -- and prepare our students for college, careers and life-long learning. This work is being coordinated and executed through the collaboration of instructional technology, professional development and learning and teaching services."


Anonymous said...

Still no real communication from the schools on what kids are doing on their devices besides playing games during free time. Walk in a room and you will see they are not used for learning. This is why my children do not participate. Kids have enough screen time.

BolynMcClung said...


There are two prices to pay as CMS crosses over from pen and paper to digital. The price of equipment and the price to pay in terms of learning to live with all the dangers it brings. In this article I'll discuss equipment. That who trusts whom conversation isn't very satisfying. I'll save that for another time.

The price of equipment and the licenses to make content available on them is currently beyond the budget of CMS. It has little money for textbooks let alone devises.

E-books sound like a budget saver as replacements for hardback textbooks but the copyright issue is proving that publishers aren't going to back-off on prices. The only advantage right now is a textbook isn't obsolete the day it is published. Imagine if a social studies book were published on 8th of November, 1989. The next day the Berlin Wall falls and what was two German nations became one. Same thing for the days the Civil Rights Act passed or Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.

The start-up cost of technology for CMS has been high but thanks to a former manager it was done at such a low amount that it isn't likely even a charter school could have beat the price.

The Gates and L.I.F.T foundations have put a lot of free technology in classrooms. The L.I.F.T model is very cost effective but each group of ten Gates Foundation iPads cost $7450. That’s an average cost of $745 per iPad that includes a charging station and some training. That isn't a price tag CMS can afford.

Thankfully, prices are coming down. I've seen and purchased 7" Android tablets in the range of $45 each ( lots of 100) and 10" Androids between $65 and $90. The question at CMS is, "are these devises reliable?" But from a dollar and cents view there is a good trade-off.

Bill and Melinda Gates' iPad grant was for 5504 iPads at a price of $4,000,000. In today's market, that will buy either 44,000 10" Androids or 88,000 7" ones. At those prices repairing isn't necessary. Just get another one. But I agree with CMS' thoughts on the cheaper devise, "CAVEAT EMPTOR!"

There is no turning back from digital. It's going to cost if we do and it's going to cost if we don't.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

Thats special so CMS is 4 years behind Mooresville now. If we had hired their superintendant 3 years ago this would be a after thought. VOTE NO BONDS !!

Anonymous said...

Can I have a raise instead? I have my own laptop which I have been using in the classroom for years.

Anonymous said...

I guess Mooresville is where you learned 'a after thought'?

Wiley Coyote said...

Curious as to how CMS intends to bridge the gap between the horse and buggy to a spaceship with BYOT.

How many kids will be on Windows XP? Mac? Windows 8 or somewhere inbetween?

Regarding Windows 8, it's terrible.

Anonymous said...

Bolyn, I bought 3 iPads this past summer for my children for school. Please forward me the Gates Foundation contact information so I can get my rebate check. If CMS would re-hire the lobbyist they cut years ago they might be able to get things done alot quicker. They probably would be able to get alot more projects funded. They alos might be able to get teachers paid a living wage.
CMS could pay for this lobbyist by eliminating PR budgets and a few downtown jobs. Its a simple trade off to get funding restored. I think Raleigh needs to remember who their biggest client is (Mecklenburg). Keith W. Hurley

Anonymous said...

Now I understand why republican'ts are rolling back voting rights - their school textbooks were out of date!!

Anonymous said...

Looking at the leasing of ipads could be a break financially. After signing a three year lease, the school or district can purchase all of the items for 1 dollar. IPad2 will still be fine in three year. for 15 thousand a year for three years, you could fund 8o students with that and save around 7 grand in the three year time.

Wiley Coyote said...

$45,000 (3 years) per 80 students or $562.50 per student?

141,171 students = $79.4 Million?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:36 What would you like to know? Ann has written about the ways some schools have been using them. I don't recall any where she wrote only about playing games during free time.

Students in my elementary school are using iMovie to present information they have learned incorporating graphics and audio narration. They are using Popplet to create graphic organizers as they classify and sort data and information. They are using EasyBib to cite their sources as they locate information. They are using Pages and Keynote to take notes. We use QR codes so students can easily access websites I want them to use for evaluation and information gathering. The focus is on the 21st century skills of creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking. What else would you like to know?

Anonymous said...

@2:28-good for you as that is not the norm.

But what do you do with the kids who don't bring in technology? You think its okay to leave them out?

My child doesn't go home afterschool so if we allowed the device-he would have to take it to afterschool. That is another risk I'm not taking (lost, broken, or stolen).

Anonymous said...

@2:35 All children are participating. The work is done in class with iPads provided through CMS. All students work in groups (collaboration). No one is left out.

What data do you have to show that it is not the norm?

Anonymous said...

2:40, Your data is not valid. CMS did not provide my children with iPads. I purchased 3 of them for my kids. They also take them to after school care were they are stored in a secure area. (so that is not a issue) I also do not let them "share" the device with other students as my children are the "owner" and responsible for the device. That is another free learning aspect of the devices ownership and care for the device. With wireless networks sure kids use the device on the bus to/from school so you know they are playing games. Kids will be kids without the teacher present. Keith W. Hurley

Anonymous said...

@2:40-you really need to check out the schools and see that yes, indeed, kids are left out. You must not go to a suburban school. Our class has ONE ipad and maybe 2 computers on a good day if they are both working.
Check out your school when EOGs are over-its nothing but games. Over two weeks of time wasting.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:18, I agree I'd rather have the $1,300 raise and continue using my laptop that can do the same things.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:21 and 3:44

To be clear, I was addressing the first point which argued that they are "not used for learning" and only for games during free time. I'm addressing how they are being used at school. How students use devices on the bus, on weekends, at home, or anywere else outside of the classroom is beyond my control and scope of knowledge. It's a false argument to say they are "not used for learning" when, in fact, I can prove that they are used for learning every day by all students in my school. Every student in my school engages with iPads for learning on a daily basis. I can't and won't speak to other schools because I do not work in those schools. Would it be a fallacy to say that because this happens at my school then it happens in every school? Yes. It would also be a fallacy to say that because it does NOT happen in your school then it does not happen in any schools. When we paint all of CMS with one broad brush based on one sub-par experience, we turn a blind eye to the successes that are taking place. And they are taking place!

3:44 I have never been absent after EOG's so I am perfectly aware of what goes on in my school at that time. My daughter, who attends a middle school, watched a ton of videos those weeks. Instruction continued as usual at my school. I wouldn't argue, based on my daughter's experience, that all schools show videos every day during those weeks any more than I would argue that no schools, like mine, show videos.

Anonymous said...

@4:32-its likely you aren't at a "rich" suburban school if each child touches an Ipad each day. We have to BYOT for that to occur.

I guess we agree to disagree on this.

Anonymous said...

The key information for those of us who've worked in the system is the last sentence. Those three departments couldn't have coordinated the proverbial marshmallow in the bonfire much less delivering new equipment. Windows Ate? HP? Chromebooks? Seems like another great IT scheme to CYA.

Anonymous said...

5:33 I work at a school in Lake Norman. Pretty suburban, pretty affluent.

Anonymous said...

North Carolina is the laughing stock of the nation in almost every aspect regarding public education, why not throw in a few Ipads to sweeten the deal!

Anonymous said...

BYOT - Bring your own teacher program. Teachers will be obsolete soon enough. CMS will be hiring room monitors to "babysit" classrooms full of students working and playing on their tech devices.

Pamela S. said...

2:28 That is wonderful that your school is so disciplined in the roll out and execution of the BYOT plan. I can assure you that is NOT happening at other schools. Last year it was a free for all at my son's south charlotte elementary school. Students raced through their work to get on their Ipads and Iphones to play Mario, Minecraft,Instagram, Bike Race and take photos of each other all day. Not my idea of higher learning.

Anonymous said...

Bring Your Own Teacher...

Now THAT might work. Cuts closer to the real problem in US education...

Just ask a Finnish student:

So what is Finland’s secret?

One of the most highly educated, selective teaching forces in the world.

Ripley highlights the differences in teacher education in Finland and America by focusing on Kim, a teen from Oklahoma who went to Finland to escape a mediocre high school that valued football over academics.

Kim’s Finnish teacher Stara had to apply to a teaching program as selective as MIT. It was only in her fourth year of the six-year course that Stara began her teacher training. She spent a full year training in one of Finland’s top schools with three teacher mentors. She taught while they observed and gave her critiques.

Kim’s math teacher back in Oklahoma told Ripley that he became a teacher mostly so he could coach football. He attended a college with a 75 percent acceptance rate.

He majored in physical education and minored in math.

One of the most telling passages in the book is a conversation Ripley had with a Finnish high school student studying in the United States about how little was expected here.

Work was assigned, the student said, but nothing happened if students didn’t do it. And students rarely had to prove they learned the material.

She tells Ripley: “Not much is demanded of U.S. students. … We did so many posters.”

“I remember telling my friend, ‘Are you kidding me? Another poster?’”

Phil said...

It's the ME generation, don't have time to wait, want my Iphone now. I can't get through the day without a device in my hands 24/7.

Don't our kids get enough screen time as it is? Now they're on computers all day at school. Not smart as we are raising a generation of socially disconnected people who will lack the moral fortitude and physical ability to carry on.

Anonymous said...

More sleep is the answer. No Joke! High school start time should be 8:15 not 7:15. Especially now that all the kiddos are on tech devices til all hours of the day and night.

Glad my kids are done and gone.

Anonymous said...

LIES!!!! Amazing that no teachers have even heard about this. I am at a loss

ANN why a blog on this and not an article?

Anonymous said...

Correction- Not all teachers got a tablet. CTE, ROTC, and ESL teachers were not included.

Unknown said...

ies got mi edcashun at cms. Eies b smart bi thars standurds. Look, CMS is corporate based. Keep them dumb and pay them cheap. Until I lost my job, my children were in private school for $8,700 a year and averaged 3 years ahead of CMS. Do the math and give us what were paying for.