1.6 How Do You Get the School Onboard and Involved?

     In my experience, school staff are generally interested in what is best for students. However, one should reasonably expect that teachers would be skeptical of significant changes to the way they teach. Especially as it pertains to technology. Technology historically has been problematic in terms of introducing it into an environment where there are established norms. This is true of schools just as it is practically everywhere else. Teachers should benefit from the same level of effort to gain commitment that one would afford any significant organization. Change must be effectively managed in order to increase the chances of desirable results.

     No matter the place, change is hard. The larger segment of the population just does not seek, welcome, invite, or readily accept change. Why should teachers and administrators be any different? Even if they are among the smaller set of society that embraces change, it takes change agents and leadership to make it happen. Leadership must provide support and resources, while change agents must understand and have the skills necessary to design and carry out change. In our case, the project only involves one student. A larger student group would take considerably more involvement by the school staff. There is a lot of interest from the school staff on how this project is proceeding. It remains to be seen how much teacher involvement is needed./p

     So far, it seems that the first phase has mainly been about the student and parents being engaged. Involvement from the school staff has been minimal. One of the teachers initiated the discussion about using a mobile computing resource during a parent-teacher meeting. Our son needs help getting organized. This theme came up in discussions with each of his teachers. There was another revelation during the meetings. One of the teachers began the discussion by saying, “I finally get it, your son is gifted and talented! His brain is working too fast and he keeps spiking up on exam results where he outperforms most if not all the other students.” The point of mentioning this is the fact that even gifted and talented students fail when there are obstacles to learning. I assert that children are not capable of solving many challenges that they meet in life. They depend upon adults to do that. Parents and school staff will be part of the solution. So far there is no reason to doubt the resolve of either.

     On the first day of our son using the iPad in school, I sat in on the first few classes of the day. The purpose was to see how he would use the new tool and to answer any questions from him or teachers. There was little involvement by the teachers as the focus was on our son making adjustments to the way he works. He we would be working less with paper and completing many tasks on the iPad. There was excitement expressed by the teachers, but there clearly is a need for follow-up.

     My wife and I have always been very supportive of our son. Like many parents, we send our son to school each day with the expectation that he will learn. This project has highlighted obstacles to him doing so. When I now look back over the years, I recall the many times that we asked him about his school day only to get very little in response. That was a sure sign that there was trouble. How can we hold him accountable for meeting the expectations of his teachers if we don’t know what they are? It was no longer good enough to find out that he was not on track often after he was already in a hole. We kept finding ourselves working with him to catch up on work that was weeks late. This had to change. The good news is, we are a lot less reactive and he is more on track with school work. There is more work to be done, but we are optimistic. This is an area that I think we will need more support from teachers on.

     My son, wife and I will be meeting with teachers, the 7th grade Dean, and the assistant principal soon. The decision has already been made to document the use of the iPad in a “504 plan” for our son. To learn more about 504 program, click here. This means that the school acknowledges the need for digital help using the iPad. We had feedback from teachers within a couple of weeks that were already seeing significant improvements. One teacher said “No more twenty-minute searches for homework assignments. Your son is more organized and work doesn’t get lost anymore. I love it! I want to learn more about this technology so that I can help your child.” I can not overstate how big of an improvement this is.

     I am truly looking forward to engaging more with the teachers and administrators. I know this project is mainly about our son, but I realize that there is greater value in helping others to meet similar challenges. That is a worthy goal for this project, even if it is an unstated one.

     In the upcoming posting, I’ll cover how I configured the iPad for Learning.

By Ken Granville

1.5 How Do You Get the Student Involved?

    The quick answer is, he immediately bought-in. Our son was eager to have access to the iPad 2 that we purchased for him. It is my observation that our child is generally interested in technology. Let’s face it, the iPad has a major wow factor for kids and adults alike. Besides, the iPad is a totally logical extension from the digital world that kids these days are comfortable with, often before they can even speak. I know that thought might cause some to cringe. As parents, we limit the amount of video game time for our son for a variety of reasons. We don’t know what affects lengthy bouts of video game playing will have on children, and there are other things that we want our son to do with his time. It’s about balance. This is something that we continue to discuss with the teachers and administrators at our sons’ school. Time on digital tools and other activities away from it are requirements that his teachers are fully aware of.

    So it was not hard to get our child on board. He is down right enthusiastic about using the iPad. Other words come to mind too, like relieved. He is so happy that he is no longer being singled out for carrying large awkward binders and backpacks. He’s even more pleased that he is no longer losing work and is getting credit for work completed on a much more consistent basis. I have observed steadily increasing confidence and determination to complete homework. I nearly went into shock when he made a very unexpected proclamation late one evening. When he realized that an assignment was due the next day and he still had work to do, he said to me “Dad, I’ll stay up all night to get it done if I have to!” Before he started using an iPad I would’ve expected him to throw in more than a few grumbles about the fact that he had not played any video games at that point. He never mentioned that fact once. What a complete departure from normal behavior. Should our son get work done without needing us to buy an iPad? Yes. Should we downplay the change in behavior since purchasing the iPad? No. We are just happy that we are seeing a change in his attitude towards school work.

    Perhaps what is indicative of why going digital is such a good decision for our son is that he interacts quite well with digital devices in the home and elsewhere. Only now he gets to leverage the decade roughly of experience that he has with technology used outside the classroom as enablers within the classroom. This makes complete sense to me. His generation is very ready for the 21st century classroom. The question is, are we adults ready to liberate them from the classroom of our past? They can’t liberate themselves, now can they?

    Is the iPad just another new toy for our son that he will lose interest in once the novelty wears off? Although it remains to be seen, my wife and I will stay engaged. Now that we have a great deal more tools at our disposal to check on things, we are hardly likely to back off now. We certainly aren’t going to let our son back off either.

    As I will elaborate later in the section on incentivizing the student, there are a variety of new ways to spark a students’ interest. There are so many apps that help students achieve academic success. There are also apps that help parents link rewards to performance. As of May 2011, there were over twenty thousand educational apps on the Apple App Store. It wasn’t hard to find apps that allow parents to reward children for achievement of goals. This is an exciting development to me as I believe that reward systems are effective, when applied correctly. Life is not a video game, but who says learning should not be fun? As you will see, I am in the early stages of linking specific rewards to academic achievement.

    The reason I feel rewards for achievement is important is because the multi-billion dollar video game, film, music, and retail industries understand the effectiveness of incentives. As humans, we need reminders of why we do what we do. Many of us are very good at internally motivating ourselves. However, there are those of us who struggle with doing so. This is clear in so many areas of life. Some examples are, losing weight, exercising, completing a college or university degree program, and for some just finishing high school is a struggle. What these goals have in common is the methods for achieving them are generally viewed as not being fun. The drudgery of working at something daily is certainly harder when it isn’t fun. We’ve all heard it said that if you find work that you love doing then it isn’t work.

    No matter the subject, teachers should carefully consider ways to make it fun. Not fun as defined in the 20th century, but as our children recognize it in the 21st century. Like it or not, the current generation experiences rewards based learning. The mere fact that entertainment industries have recognized, embraced, and leveraged this reality for profit should not diminish from its relevance to academic purposes. Providing a learning experience that is fun is not a goal of the Digital Student Project. However, it is my deliberate intention to explore ways to insert fun when it is beneficial to the learner.

    Coincidentally, our son started his winter break from school just as I began writing this section. This is a perfect time to focus on both the reward system and fun apps for learning. It will be very interesting to see what we can find to support our project. I will share our results in later sections on incentives for the student.

    Our son is involved, now what? Click here to read how we will seek to get the school on board and involved.

By Ken Granville

1.4 Why did we decide on the iPad?

     As a former Chief Information Officer (CIO) and a technical advisor to CIO’s at various national agencies, I have had to either make decisions or advise others on IT purchases. Make the wrong IT purchase decision and typically it is the users who suffer. I gave a lot of thought and applied a significant amount of research to the platform decision. There are five core factors that led to my decision to buy an iPad. So without further ado, here they are:

  1. The Tablet Decision: Given the advances in mobile technology, a tablet made more sense than a PC. According to recent IT analyst reports from very reputable companies (e.g. see the Gartner report here), Tablet sales are dramatically outpacing PC sales. I believe the primary reasons are smaller size and weight, longer battery life, and a better user experience. The latter is an advantage held by Apple over its competitors for the foreseeable future. User experience is a non-trivial matter. I wanted my son to have access to a platform that would present the least amount of challenges to him learning how to use it. He has a laptop PC at home, and I consider the user interface far too broad in scope to even consider an attempt to configure it specifically for learning. Apple products are famous for having user experience at the heart of every design decision. I’ve owned an iPad for nearly two years so I knew what to expect. That did influence my decision somewhat, but I continued to make an objective decision based on other factors.
  2. Low Maintenance is a Must Have: I made a conscious effort to avoid solutions that would need more maintenance than I’m willing to take on. I’m already the resident IT help and believe me, that can often be the source of much pain for me. I am very keen to avoid the question, “why isn’t this working”? In my experience, Apple products just work. I believe that is partly because applications (apps) are all vetted by Apple for stability (less buggy software). There are many reports of instability issues on the Android OS and Microsoft Windows Tablet OS platforms. I also like services like backing up data on the iPad to the iCloud, which means I don’t have to worry about doing it myself. I no longer even have to connect his iPad to a computer. Everything requiring networking happens wirelessly, including updates and file sharing. These and other maintenance aspects might seem trivial in the beginning, but they are the types of things that wear away at you over time. Especially if you are the lucky guy who gets to fix things when they go wrong.
  3. Security is Important: I’m concerned about vulnerability to cyber attack, which is common on PCs. I also have significant concerns about other platforms that I considered. Apple will be enforcing a sandbox requirement (apps can’t access resources that do not match their intended use) in the new year. One of the ways that viruses and malware create problems is the virus infected device gets compromised by actions performed by legitimate apps (e.g. trick your email app into sending all of your contact and other private info to someone else without you having a clue that it’s going on). Malicious viruses and malware has increased on the Android platform by 76% in the second half of this year alone. Apple devices are historically less vulnerable than the others, but this is very much something to keep an eye on. Our son can’t install any software on his iPad and his email traffic is limited to teachers, family, and a few friends. I’ll keep it that way as long as I can. Again, safety and stability trumps most everything else. I believe that software should be designed more securely in the first place and I like the fact that Apple sees this as a critical need. Although the case is already compelling for the iPad, I continued my consideration of alternatives.
  4. Constrained is Good: Many Techies prefer Google’s’ Android OS and Windows Tablet OS and I think I understand why. Although lower cost is often a major reason, I believe the highly technical dislike the fact that they are more constrained on Apples’ iOS (again, Apple vets all software intended for distribution to their platform, they make sandboxing mandatory (read about it here), and apply other methods to make sure that everyone plays nicely together on their platform). The PC and Android platforms are comparatively “a free for all” as opposed to the highly controlled Apple environment. Despite this, the trend towards Apple products is truly nothing short of a massive about-face when one considers that Apple nearly went out of business in the 1990s. A big factor then was the Apple model of developing, controlling and owning all the systems wearing the Apple logo. Nobody else got to build Macs. I don’t think that the turn around is down to the fickleness of consumers. It is because Apple is designing solutions that consumers want. More importantly in our case, our son is not a techie. Therefore, the techie perspective does not apply in this case. I want our son to stick to using his iPad for learning and not for tinkering around with the hardware and often unsafe software on the less controlled platforms. Controlled is good for the foreseeable future.
  5. Cost is not a Primary Factor, User Experience is: I know that not everyone can take the position that we have. Others might come to a different decision if they have budget limitations. I completely understand that. However, when I considered the cost of academic failure I shifted cost to a lower tier place on my evaluation. That said, I confess to leaning towards what I consider is the best product available. Not because I just like spending more money, but because I want to increase the likelihood that our son will use the technology. User adoption is a fickle thing. I don’t want to build-in the need to intervene to get him to use the tool that has been chosen for him. I want him to use it because he wants to. There, I said it. User experience trumps cost.

     There are many other reasons to go with a tablet and I concluded that the iPad is the right product for our son. I am not advocating the Apple solution for everyone as there are factors that come into play, depending on each circumstance (e.g. cost).

     So there you have it. My reasons for choosing the iPad. Now I’d like to share some of my observations about Tablet use in the broader sense.

     I think it is noteworthy that the South Korean government will be banning all school paper books by 2014 (see an article on it here). You know something really big is happening when an entire government embraces a technology as the South Koreans have. We are talking about a technologically advanced country here. Do they know something that we don’t? My guess is they want to give their students as much of an advantage as they can. Others might speculate that the move is intended to head off the US giant, Apple. They see a major technological storm coming and they don’t want an overseas opponent to their own supplier of Tablets, Samsung, winning out. Even if it is a form of protectionism, the students will benefit from having access to technology that can transform the classroom. I sure hope that the US doesn’t miss an opportunity to benefit from a transformation that a US company largely enabled. Until Apple released the iPad, very few saw the potential of Tablets. Now the market is growing rapidly. I think we will find that the classroom as a logical place for the technology to be applied.

     There are many excellent sources of information on iPad use in the classroom. Here are 8 that I found useful:

  1. Why use iPad and iPod Touch in education
  2. iPadsforlearning.com
  3. Bronx Green Middle School (BGMS): iPads in the classroom blog http://bgmsipad.blogspot.com/
  4. Kathy Schrock’ “iPads in the classroom”: http://www.schrockguide.net/ipads-in-the-classroom.html
  5. Quick list of iPad resources for the classroom: http://web20classroom.blogspot.com/2011/03/quick-list-of-ipad-resources-for.html
  6. Cybrary Man’s Educational Website: http://cybraryman.com/ipad.htmlEdudemic
  7. The Ultimate Guide to Using iPads in the classroom: http://edudemic.com/2010/12/the-ultimate-guide-to-using-ipads-in-the-classroom/
  8. Math That Moves: Schools Embrace the iPad (NY Times article) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/05/education/05tablets.html?pagewanted=all

     My next posting will focus on the task of getting the student involved. For quick access, click here.

By Ken Granville

1.3 What do we hope to achieve by going digital?

    There are five goals that we seek to meet by going digital. These may change as we gain more experience. In some ways we are taking a bit of a gamble. My wife and I sought and received the support of the staff at his school and we discussed things with him before proceeding with a plan. All of the key players are on board, now we can flip the switch and voilà! We have a digital student. Wrong! We will need clear goals and ways to decide that we are on track or are off the mark. Our goals for going digital are as follows:

Goal 1: Grades of C or better in all classes by the next trimester
Goal 2: Grades at B level or better by the last trimester
Goal 3: Reduce school materials carried down to a single student (not adult) sized backpack.
Goal 4: Organize all school work including; agendas, homework, notes, spirals, binders, and reminders using Digital Student tools
Goal 5: A Digital Student who can ingest and change (edit, mark, draw) documents and images, record typed and audio notes, distribute content to teachers and stay on top of work with minimal intervention.

    Our goals will help our son meet academic success. For our son, that means our chosen platform (an iPad) is the center of his digital world. It will take some doing, but I intend to supplant his Xbox 360, Wii, PSP, and DS game devices, and his laptop and desktop PCs as the dominant access points to the digital world. This is a good time to mention that his iPad does not have any entertainment video games loaded on it and I intend to keep it that way. The exceptions to-date are educational games. One teaches math and the other is a physics game that allows him to build a roller coaster rail system and then see the associated physics. I see nothing wrong with him having a bit of fun at the right time and place. As long as he is learning, I’m fine with a select few games. Because I control the App Store account on the iPad, I am confident of our ability to restrict its use to learning activities. That hasn’t stopped him from trying to go gamer on his iPad though.

    I am aware of the fact that he accessed the Game Center that comes preloaded on the iPad on the very first day that he took it to school. I’m sure that the temptation was far too great for him. He has certainly gotten pressure from classmates who have reacted to the iPad by saying things like, “you’ve got an iPad, cool! Have you got Angry Birds loaded on it?” I’m proud to say that he gave the perfect response, which is “I’ve told you guys this iPad is not for playing games, it’s for educational use only!” That’s my boy.

    If we are to meet our goals, our son must really buy in to this approach. I believe that we have a good chance at success because he seems to really enjoy using the iPad as a learning tool, even if he can’t play games on it. I acknowledge that it is too early to predict outcomes. Our son works hard to make use of the investment in his academic future. I’ll cover this further in the upcoming post on how things are going so far.

    I have read negative comments from sources that range from parents to teachers about using technology in the classroom such as the iPad. The critic’s view is that technology can’t replace a highly capable and engaged teacher, and the potential for distracting the class from its purpose is high. Our goals address organization and time management skills deficiencies. I’m afraid that these are both areas that haven’t received effective solutions from any quarter. I’d say that until now, we had failed to find a workable solution for our child. One has to wonder how often failure is just accepted with these and other challenges. As parents, we often felt powerless. When you can’t focus on learning because your child can’t organize things and is forgetful, it becomes difficult for everyone involved to see a successful path forward.

    We are highly optimistic that we now have a pathway towards success. Our son is a very bright, gifted and talented child. By focusing on goals 1 and 2 we expect to see better grades. As enablers, goals 3 through 5 provide a foundation that is solid. One that has many ways to involve and inform parents and teachers in a much more timely manner than ever before. There is now a centralized hub of information about all aspects of our sons school experience. It is too early still to predict outcomes, but as I’ll describe later, we have already overcome some major challenges for our son.

    In the next posting, I’ll address why we decided on the iPad as the electronic tool for our Digital Student. For quick access to the posting, click here.

By Ken Granville

1.2 A day in the life of a non-digital student

We tried several approaches to help our son with his organization and time management skills challenges before going digital. The school prohibits students from carrying backpacks to class. Students must carry what they need for each class in binders, notepads, spiral booklets, in addition to their books. Everything else must fit in their student locker. The standard guidance for students is to split their school materials into two binders. One for AM and the other for PM. This forces a transition. Bad news for an ADHD/SID child. Our son would often incorrectly file the contents so that the AM work would be in the PM folder or vice-a-verse. The two red binders were too bulky to fit in the backpack so we decided to replace them with a single carrying case.

We then tried a couple of different carrying cases before deciding on basically a black box that looked like a cheap particle board briefcase with a metal frame and a handle. Well that just didn’t work out. Eventually, the cheap briefcase didn’t last as it couldn’t stand up to the treatment it received. Both our son and other kids thought it would be cool to sling it across the ice while waiting for the bus. This was not going to end well.

    Kids are often cruel as our son found out when kids began teasing him about his “briefcase”. Questions like, “where do you think you’re going with the briefcase, dude?” meant that bullies targeted him simply because he is different. If it meant that papers would not get lost and our son would have the materials needed for each class, we felt this solution could work. We would help him deal with the teasing.

    Unfortunately, it didn’t stop with a bit of teasing. It would later turn into bullying both at the bus stop and in the hallways at school. Kids would grab the briefcase and run with it or sling it across the icy ground.

    Then the name calling started as well. Labels like retard became verbal weapons to attack our child. Why? Because he is different. Ironically, after he later started using an iPad in school his popularity increased. Being different is OK if there is a coolness factor to it, or so it seems. We got the school administrative staff involved and the bullying died down. However, we were still left with a solution that wasn’t working for our son. An awkward briefcase often crammed with papers.

    The awkward looking briefcase was never going to work anyway as it became increasingly heavy and there was no clear way to patch the damage it had sustained quite quickly. We had concerns that the sheer weight of the briefcase might be causing posture issues for our son. As he walked, he shifted his weight and alternated his carrying hand trying to compensate for the strain on his arms. Oh, I nearly forgot to mention that he still carried a backpack as well as the briefcase. His posture was eventually going to suffer. The briefcase had to go.

As a replacement for the dreaded briefcase, we tried combining all of his school materials into one big white binder. That ended up needing several applications of duct tape and was on its last legs by the time we switched to digital. Although we had eliminated the need for transitioning between two binders by putting everything into one binder, not only was it unable to take the everyday wear and tear, but all the contents would be in varying degrees of crumpled. I’d look at our son’s binder daily with increasing concern. This was not what we had hoped for.

    The large binder wasn’t working for other reasons too. There was only one binder to deal with, but it was often disorganized and work was still not getting turned in. The problem was not just the lack of organizing skills, it was time management. If dad or mom wasn’t aware of what needed to get done and when, it often wouldn’t get done to complete closure. In other words, no matter how hard he had worked he wasn’t getting credit for it. That had to change.

Then there was the über man-sized backpack. The briefcase was gone and replaced  by a single large binder that would not fit inside of a child’s backpack. My wife purchased a larger backpack as a solution. This thing was so big that not that long ago we could fit our son inside it. It had to weigh over 30 pounds when fully laden with school materials. This was going to harm him physically. Once again I would watch with great concern as he walked to the bus stop. He’d lean forward to balance the weight as he walked up the slight hill from our home to the bus stop. A damaged back and other muscles at risk was too big of a price to pay for academic success. Frustration was really settling in. As parents, we felt desperate to find something that was an actual comprehensive solution to the problems.

    Between the binder from hell, the Mount Kilimanjaro Climber sized backpack, and the often late or missing work, we were not optimistic about the academic success of our son. I became convinced that we had to try something radical. It was time to at least research a digital solution.

    It was not long before I realized that the task of finding effective organization and time management solutions would take a lot of work. But first it was time to create clear goals for the project.

Click here to learn what we hope to achieve with the project.

By Ken Granville

1 Rationale, Goals & Buy-In

    It has been quite frustrating watching our 13-year-old son struggling academically. He has learning challenges caused by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID). Either condition can present daunting challenges for a child. Especially in settings like a classroom, where the expectation is that children focus on tasks for significant periods of time and that they do not disrupt the class.

    It has been a bumpy road for our son from the first day of school. Despite the challenges, he is a gifted and talented child. He often amazes us with his sharp wit and he is able to do well on exams and general school work. In our experience, getting and keeping our son organized and managing his time are actually the biggest challenges. Organization and time management are problems that we needed to address or we could expect him to fail academically.

    To be clear, I am not an academic. I have never taught a class of kids. I do not have a PhD in child psychology. However, I am a very motivated parent who has had over 30 years experience doing very technical work. I have engineered solutions to national defense problems that many others said couldn’t be done. They range from helping multiple national agencies share information in the post 9/11 era, to creating advanced training systems for the US Army. I have learned over the years that I really love a challenge and the digital student project would prove to be very challenging indeed.

    I spend a great deal of my time creating technical concepts, which requires a significant grasp of available technologies, hands on experience and in-depth knowledge of capabilities of various technical products. To say the least, I am a fan of technical solutions. That said, I am above all a father. I have attempted to the best of my ability to not allow the technology to take my eye off the goal of doing what is best for our son. If the balance between technology and usability are wrong, the technology can easily become part of the problem instead of part of the solution.

    I am also Black American male. Not that it mattered to the approach taken or the outcome of the Digital Student project, but it is relevant to the crisis facing our nation. The fact that there are more Black young men in prison than enrolled in college sends alarm bells that I can’t ignore. Equally, the International Education System Rankings (click here for a summary) should cause all Americans concern.

    I’m motivated by the statistics above to help others, which is why my wife and I support the Partnership for Academically Successful Students (PASS) group at our sons’ school. PASS is parents, staff, and community members working together to share and develop a plan to improve achievement for African-American, Native American, and Latino students. I believe that education is partly the solution. We have to seek ways to engage students and I wonder how much of the root cause of the problem of the failure of many boys (not just Black Americans) to achieve academic success is linked to teaching methods today. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges for teachers is getting the attention and interest of boys.

    During my research, I didn’t find as many sources of information that address turning your child into a Digital Student as I expected there would be. Many students, like our son, has skills that position them well for adapting quickly to the new technologies and processes that will support their transition from traditional educational tools. The question is, are parents and academia ready to move forward? Our children can’t do it without us. I sense that there is a great opportunity for success and failure.

    If this blog can help anyone who has a struggling child to turn school grades around, then to me, it is worth writing it. It is only through my research and later decision to transition our child to a Digital Student that I realized the pioneering nature of the project. Out of over two thousand students, he is the first Digital Student in his school using an iPad. There is one other student who uses a netbook.

    So what next? In the upcoming post (section 1.1 Why go digital?), I will cover why we decided to get rid of the huge binders, backpacks, briefcase, spiral notepads, and replace most of it with an iPad 2.

By Ken Granville

Introduction

    Welcome to the The Digital Student Project. I am in the process of transitioning our son, Joseph, to using an iPad in school. He is a 7th grade student. The 2nd trimester recently started, and his 1st trimester grades are not good. Now is the time for us to intervene with a new approach to his learning challenges. I will use this blog to share our experiences with anyone interested in what is a complex project.

    Parents who are thinking of going digital on their own have a difficult challenge ahead. It would undoubtedly be better if the school initiated a program that had broader support. However, the school staff, my wife and I all agree that we should not wait for a program at the school. Other schools around the world have programs that involve using iPads in class. See the posting on “Why did we decide on the iPad?” for links to the resources that I found during my research.

    Our son needs us to intervene immediately. Neither the school nor the district has any firm plans to start a program involving technology. There are no guarantees that we achieve all of our goals quickly or easily. We understand that the technology is not the total answer. Parents need options on the table that are forward leaning. This is new ground for all those involved. That is the primary reason I decided to blog about our experience. So here we go!

Chapter 1 – The Rationale, Goals, and the Buy-In (Read next)

Chapter 2 – Configuring the iPad for Learning

By Ken Granville