Thursday, August 05, 2010

iPods and Kearns High School

Senator McCain and Rooster Coburn are not happy with Kearns High's plan to use stimulus money for iPod's. They identified the KHS plan as one of 100 questionable stimulus projects nationwide.

Kearns is planning on the iPods becoming a valuable classroom tool for use with download-able textbooks, lessons, and online research.

The Granite School District says Kearns is moving toward the future by giving students the iPod Touches.

"We feel like textbooks are really on their way out the door, and we will be utilizing these devices," said district spokesman Ben Horsley.

He said it's also an incentive to get kids to graduate: "Kind of a reward, and keeping them on task toward graduation," Horsley explained. "They don't get to keep it unless they meet graduation requirements."

About the concerns that have been raised, Horsley says the stimulus funds can only be spent on technology in education and could not be used anywhere else.

I think the decision to use funds in this way is innovative on the part of Granite School District. Hand held devices provide a lower cost alternative to printed textbooks, and they have so many applications that can be helpful in providing teachers with powerful tools in the classroom. If they can also provide an incentive for students to keep on track to graduation, then it is a plan that has merit and should be praised.

I don't believe the stimulus as a whole was a wise path for our leaders to pursue. However, using the money to promote and foster the use of technology in the classroom is something that two US Senators should praise, rather than deride, coming from America's less than stellar public school system.


Anonymous said...

I am a student at Kearns High and I got a free one today, and you will not believe all the things I've learned from it..

I even made a short video about it.

Anonymous said...

What seems to be a waste of money here could actually accomplish just the opposite. The inspiration behind this High School's decision to apply for the grant came from a non-profit organization called the iSchool Initiative. Young Travis Allen makes a very strong case for this kind of technology in the classroom at