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Public meeting on 1:1 initiative at North Tama

December 7, 2012
Levi LaRue & North Tama staff , Traer Star-Clipper

The North Tama CCSD School Board will be hosting a board work session on December 12 at 6 p.m. in the Junior High Commons at North Tama Schools. The community is encouraged to attend.

The work session will focus on implementing a One-to-One (commonly known as 1:1) computer device initiative into the school for grades 7-12.

This 1:1 initiative would put a computer device in the hands of each 7-12 student allowing for use at school and home.

North Tama CCSD is pursuing the 1:1 initiative for grades 7-12 to enhance the learning potential and possibilities for the students.

Location and resources limit all students' education, regardless of school. By moving to a 1:1 system, the technology helps to remove these limitations and helps level the education playing field for all students who have a variety of income and Internet connection at home. These devices will allow our students to experience more of the world without leaving our community and doing so in a safe and secure manner.

Our goal as a school district is to equip our students to the best of our ability and help them to be successful after graduation. The world our students are going to is one of technological changes. These changes require our students to think past simple facts and figures and instead critically think to apply them in a variety of ways. Students within a 1:1 school have a greater capacity to show off and use these critical thinking skills rather than in a school that uses textbooks to show their students the world. The 1:1 initiative assists in changing the status quo and gives an edge to students in school as we prepare our students for a new and globalized economy.

The North Tama Secondary Technology Committee, consisting of teachers in grades 7-12, extensively researched several different options for North Tama to implement. The team attended conferences, spoke to other schools around the state of Iowa and visited schools that have already gone to a 1:1 program to try to determine what would work best for the community. They considered what the devices can do to assist students but keep them safe while using them, what they cost, how they could be used in class, how others are using them and the results, what type of additional support (staff, infrastructure, time and training) would be needed, what were the limitations and life spans of each of the devices, and the availability for additional content (apps). After a lot of time and consideration the Tech Team recommended the purchase of the KUNO Tablet to the administration.

The KUNO has several features the other devices did not have. First, as a school we want to ensure our students are safe, are not accessing inappropriate materials and that these devices are used as a learning tool. The KUNO offers the best security of any of the devices the team investigated. Second, the KUNO offers a program called the Curriculum Loft, which will assist the school in meeting state standards, collaboration between teachers, and teacher accountability. Finally, the KUNO's required support can all be done within the school, will not require additional staff and should be a better investment in our students' education.

The 1:1 initiative is currently being implemented in 143 school districts across Iowa, including several neighboring districts. Many more schools around Iowa and in the immediate area are planning to begin the 1:1 initiative next year. It is our intention as a school to do our best to equip our students for the future, to engage our students in deeper understanding, and prepare them to compete in the 21st century.



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