Digital Directions - Summer 2013 - (Page 8)

BITSTRENDSBYTES & NEWS AND DIGITAL-DEVICE SECURITY ASSESSMENT School-Issued iPads Are Targets for Thieves Thieves are targeting children carrying school-issued iPads to and from school in the Clark County school district in Nevada, according to local police. Although educators praise iPads for raising student engagement and possibly academic achievement, local lawenforcement officials are concerned these $400 pieces of equipment could pose a new safety hazard for students. In September, the 311,000-student Clark County district launched a $2.5 million iPad program, putting more than 7,000 tablet computers into the hands of students and staff members at five low-income middle schools. The idea behind the Engage, Empower, Explore (E3) program is to level the technological playing field for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Students who otherwise may not have a computer at home could use the iPad to complete homework assignments and access technology outside of school. “These educational tools keep students more engaged and working collaboratively,” says Jhone Ebert, the district’s chief technology officer. “It’s phenomenal.” But local police officials say they are now seeing a troubling trend with this new technology. “We have seen a definite rise in incidents of students—visibly carrying these iPads or perceived to be carrying iPads—being targeted by criminals for theft,” says Bill Cassell, a spokesman for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. “So far, we don’t believe any children have been injured, but we are very concerned that this situation could escalate.” Cassell says he could not comment on the prevalence of iPad thefts because the police department doesn’t have a database tracking the number of Clark County districtissued iPads that have been stolen since the program started. However, 83 iPads have been stolen from students this year, according to school district officials. This represents a little more than 1 percent of the 7,235 iPads issued as part of the E3 program. Officials in Indiana were forced to suspend statewide online tests for two days after technical problems derailed the system, in the latest mishap to plague statewide assessments around the country. The Indiana testing breakdowns occurred not long after serious assessment problems emerged in Minnesota and Oklahoma, raising concerns about the technological capacity of schools to administer online testing. And the testing woes have emerged at an inopportune time for backers of online testing. States and school districts are already nervous about the costs and technological challenges of putting in place online assessments to match the Common Core State Standards, and the current round of testing woes seems likely to only heighten that anxiety. —SEAN CAVANAGH What are your top 3 challenges to planning and implementing technology-enabled learning environments? District IT Leaders Cite Budget Challenges 8 >> Problems Emerge With Online Testing In Three States —McCLATCHY-TRIBUNE INFORMATION SERVICE ED-TECH LEADERSHIP A recent survey of district technology leaders by the Washington-based Consortium for School Networking found that budget constraints and lack of resources are the top challenges they are facing as they try to integrate technology into schools to improve teaching and learning. The survey went to 2,500 district information technology officials, 250 of whom responded. >> 67.5 27.7 Lack of support from the school board Lack of vision from senior district leadership 39.8 28.9 10.8 5.4% Relevant training and professional development available 75.9 6 Personalized Lack of Changing the Budget Breaking down learning is not support by the culture of constraints and sites in the supported by community teaching and lack of district technology or learning to a resources practice studentcentered environment with ubiquitous computing SOURCE: COSN’s K-12 IT Leadership Survey 2013 (one-to-one student to device or better)

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Digital Directions - Summer 2013

Digital Directions - Summer 2013
Editor’s Note
DD Site Visit
Bits & Bytes
Test-Driving the Common Core
Flipped PD: Building Blocks to Success
Virtual Learning in the Early Years
Kindergarten the Virtual Way
7 Steps to Picking Your LMS
Cracking the Code
Powering the Crowd

Digital Directions - Summer 2013