My notes from tonight’s school board meeting.

About two months ago when I last spoke to the school board, I predicted that implementing this iPad project would probably result in headaches and trouble for not only your IT staff, but the school corporation as a whole.  This is not meant to be an “Ha Ha, the IT guy says ‘I told you so'” moment, because I feel the failings of this project show something far more troubling.  
 
This weekend, an email was sent out to the school corporation about the various technology projects.  As an IT professional, the points brought up are clearly self inflicted wounds from this iPad rollout.  And the suggestions made will not improve the overall problem.  
 
iPad usage
shutting down the schools internet access during lunch time
Proposed solution is to turn off internet access during this time to the middle schools
This will interfere and add unnecessary steps to students and will not improve the bandwidth situation.
Most of the bandwidth usage is to youtube and apple.com from the common area
My point is, instead of putting the blame/fix on your teachers, does anyone have a ladder and know how to unplug an access point?
 
Teachers unprepared to use the iPads in the classrooms
Student being told that notes he took on the iPad could not be used on open-note test.
no curriculum
Impossible demands placed on teachers and staff to implement something which they have simply been given tweets and links to somehow develop an education plan
 
Paid App Approval Process
4-6 weeks to approve an app to be used in the classroom, which means that if a teach finds an app they need to have things sorted out at least one quarter ahead of time in order to ensure delivery to their students.
 
The problem is not your digital citizens acting “uncitizen-like” or teachers not fulfilling mandates, the problem is poor leadership and poor planning on the part of this school corporation.  The problem is the school corporation came into the project unprepared both on the technology and education fronts, with a mandate that fails the basic points of education, network security, and “what to expect from a group of teenagers”.
 
You are not going to fix this by simply adding bandwidth and trying to reason with your students.  You either now have to take the steps of either becoming a cybercop on every user in your network (of which you do not have the time or funds to support) or you have to start unplugging things.  
 
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