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“If you look at all the districts that jumped on the iPad pilots, there should be a lot of learning we’ll have from them,” he said.
No ‘dearth of technology’
The district isn’t lacking technology, said Orlowsky, citing smartboards and projection technology in every sixth-grade classroom. Other teachers use “clickers,” letting students respond to questions instantly. There also are “pockets of teachers” experimenting with other technology, he said.
And the district has 3,000 desktop computers, said Thompson.
“There’s not a dearth of technology,” Romansky said. “We’re just not implementing 1:1. We’re not Farmington.”
Next year, Shakopee will implement a new student data system to track lunch accounts and grades, as well as updating their network. It will be redoing its website, too, said Romansky.
With all of those changes already planned, teachers will need time to adjust, Romansky said.
Jennifer Brophy, a seventh-grade science teacher at East Junior High, has a classroom set of iPads. Her students use them frequently, for note taking, activities and testing, she said.
Though she said she’s enthusiastic about new technology, it’s a lot of work — most nights she puts in three to four hours reformatting her curriculum for iPads.
Brophy said she supports the district’s pace with 1:1 implementation.
Thompson said that “time will tell” if the approach has any downsides.
“At this point, our community is saying that we’re willing to take that risk,” he said.
Romansky said she knows that other districts are moving faster than Shakopee, but doesn’t believe students will be missing out by not having their own tablets.
“Obviously, we’re the unusual ones. People are probably thinking, ‘Why are they waiting so long?’” she said. But, “Every district has to do what they think is best.”
Erin Adler • 952-746-3283