ARDSLEY -- The group of seventh-graders is hunched around a MacBook in English teacher Cameron Brindise’s classroom, calling out rapid-fire directions to the boy wielding the keyboard with the intensity of any tech startup entrepreneur.My district is joined at the hip with Ardsley (apparently in part because our curriculum director is close with an administrator there, who used to work here -- so I've been told).
Using the video-editing software program iMovie, they’re piecing together a documentary called “Growing Up Digital,” which they will present to their “corporate bosses” at the Pearson Education company in a couple of weeks.
Ardsley is one of five districts in the country that have signed on and pay a per-student fee to participate in a one-year iPad pilot program with Pearson Education Inc. Through the winter and spring, nine teachers at the high school, middle school and elementary level have been using iPads loaded with Pearson’s new app, the Common Core System of Courses.
The idea is to have the schools provide feedback to Pearson before the company makes the final version of the app available to the public. As the pilot year is nearing its end, educators say it’s been, for the most part, a valuable experience.
“What’s it done for the teachers who’ve been part of it, it’s shown how easy it is to push their curriculum outside the four walls of their classroom,” said Layne Hudes, the district’s director of curriculum and instruction.
Teachers modified the lesson plans to accommodate their students’ needs and have written their own iPad lessons along the way. They’ve also found new educational apps they can integrate into their teaching.
“I like the idea of grabbing onto what I can connect with and what I think my kids can connect with,” Brindise said.
Pernicone and her group will measure students’ social media use in their favorite apps -- like Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter -- and display their findings on the iPhone replica in the “museum exhibit” Brindise has organized as the capstone of the iPad unit.
Class Notes: Ardsley's test drive of new Common Core app delivers mixed results
Mareesa Nicosia, email@example.com 1:51 p.m. EDT May 5, 2014
In any event, our curriculum director is "passionate" about "technology" (which means iPads & Chromebooks), and the district's goal is to make technology as "ubiquitous as pencil and paper in our classrooms."
So I'm sure our central administrators are plotting to bring Pearson's Common Core app to the district, along with the requisite iPads and Chromebooks.
That said, it's possible parents are sufficiently alerted to the possibility that administrators will think twice. (I need to find out whether the board OK'ed that grant .... )
In fact, I hadn't seen this article until a parent posted it on Facebook this morning, accompanied by the observation that the program sounds like c***.
I second the emotion.