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Pittsburgh school district mulls iBook program cuts

updated 02:30 pm EST, Thu March 25, 2004

School mulls iBook program

Quaker Valley School District officials in Pittsburgh (PA) are considering that provides about 1,700 laptops to third-graders through high school seniors, according to The Tribune-Review: "Officials said their options include providing the laptops only to students in the highest three or four grades, while using desktops for elementary grades. 'There is a question about whether younger students should have the responsibility of having their own computer,' district spokesman John Hanna said. Recent studies have found that younger students benefit less from having their own computers and that they frequently break or forget the equipment."

The article notes that "Quaker Valley was one of three Pennsylvania districts chosen to receive a $4.1 million technology grant in 2001. The district used part of the money to implement its laptop program, paying for the computers through a lease agreement. Quaker Valley invested another $2 million in the program after the grant money ran out Dec. 31."

by MacNN Staff




  1. beeble

    Joined: Dec 1969


    3rd graders?

    I think asking a 3rd grader to be responsible for a lunch box can be a big ask let alone their own computer. Who came up with this idea? What's a third grader going to use a computer for? Writing an essay? Researching a topic beyond simply looking up an encyclopaedia? What on earth does a 3rd grader need their own computer for that a couple of computers in a class room can't do (like play edutainment games)?

  1. HeatherEcsedi

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re : 3rd graders

    Access X-rated material on the internet ? Just kidding. You have a point.

  1. ecrelin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    dumb solution

    elementary kids have no reason for their own computer even 7th and 8th is kinda dumb. High school OK but what genius thought it was a good idea to only give it to kids who probably don't need the extra time on one, the higher grade students, if they are a study aid then the lower end kids need them even more.

  1. David0109

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: dumb solution

    "OK but what genius thought it was a good idea to only give it to kids who probably don't need the extra time on one, the higher grade students, if they are a study aid then the lower end kids need them even more."

    They are not reffering to students who GET higher grades, as in A's & B's. They're referring to students IN higher grades, as in 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades.

    "have you found Jesus?"
    "I didn't know he was lost"

  1. nickgold2012

    Joined: Dec 1969


    computers + kids = good

    I began using computers in school in the 3rd or 4th grade I think. We did logo, used Apples. I remember playing Sticky Bear games. It was all good.

    This is what got me into technology. I wasn't too dumb to be able to make use of those experiences. It was formative.

    Now, young kids + expensive laptops is another story. I was pretty clumsy when I was younger, and would accidentally break things fairly often. What kid doesn't? I think they should have a few classroom machines, and then pay for the children to use cheap eMacs at home. Something like that.

    Little kids aren't too dumb, but then can be clumsy. Let them have their computers, but make them very kid-proof. Laptops are one of those things that lots of adults accidentally destroy (trust me, I do laptop tech support).

    The techno-mediated cultural conspiracy

  1. ecrelin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Duh, I can read,

    I guess I didn't read that too carefully about the grades, idiot, but I have another comment, I actually supporrt an elementary school that has 20 iBooks, with 8 airports in the building they cart them around and instant lab in every room. Two important points, first, amazingly in three years only one CD tray busted (just the latch) and a couple keys missing, one dead motherboard, otherwise the kids haven't broken them up, BUT taking them home?!?!? not on your life! Two, honestly maybe you got a lot out of Sticky Bears but I don't see these things helping these kids that much, the little time they spend is more like playtime. I bet you would have been just as interested in technology if you were introduced at the 7th grade or high school level, kids may then actually take pride in them and use them a lot, I've seen examples on the web of this, also kids who couldn't otherwise afford them really really appreciate them and it can change their lives. Save the money, buy them for older kids and REALLY use them.

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