“We need iPads!”: A North Beach High student’s plea

When you look at the details on North Beach School District, you realize it may serve a large portion of economically disadvantaged youth, but the district itself is far from “poor.” So, if a plea posted at the Facebook site North Beach Classifieds (it’s a “closed group,” you have to ask to be a member — kind of like an Internet speakeasy) is accurate, it makes one ponder, “How are they spending money, over at the district?” Here is the post by someone who says he is a student:

  • Did you know that North Beach Jr. Sr. High does not have enough text books for every student! At the school we have a class room set that is it. The books are all 10 years old and falling apart! I would like to get iPads for every student at the high school. With iPad we would be able update the textbooks as soon as they come out at a greatly reduced cost. Also iPads offer access to apps and books that create engaging environments for students to participate in. With iPads work can be completed and turned in digitally and entire class rooms can be managed from the tap of a finger. The price tag with this project of mine is amount $100,000. I have talked with the administration on this although the response has been really slow and little to no progress has been made. How are students able to get work done and study if they are unable to take text books home! Does anyone from the community have any ideas on how to move forward with this in an effective manner?

About Tom Scanlon

Tom Scanlon started his journalism career as a sports stringer with the Pittsburgh Press (RIP) and Post-Gazette, then moved on to the Seattle Times, Mesa Tribune etc. He is the author of plays including "The Superhumans" and novels including "Ocean Shores Tourist Killer," "Atlantis City," and, now, "The Immaculate Jagoffs of Pittsburgh."
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10 Responses to “We need iPads!”: A North Beach High student’s plea

  1. Old School says:

    Pencil, meet paper. That’s how it was done before the age of computers.
    Even if tablets were even remotely helpful over conventional methods, an iPad most definitely is NOT a suitable solution. An inexpensive, but vastly superior Android-based device or even an Amazon Kindle would be a far more logical choice.

    Students throwing tantrums because they want the latest cool iDevice is no excuse for a school district going even further into the red to buy unnecessary items at the expense of more traditional items that are desperately needed by both students and teachers.

    Please tell this spoiled rotten child to get a job if they want a glorified mp3 and video player and then send them back to remedial/summer school on how to learn without having information spoon-fed to them.

    • AnonyMe says:


      • The Future says:

        The education is so poor at that school the poor rotten child is the one getting cheated. He should be praised to be creative enough to come up with a possible solution. The entire world is moving that way and the old school is being left behind by the incompetent teachers and administrations that cannot adapt to the future. They are doomed but why must the next generation be doomed with them.

  2. Inquiring Minds Want 2 Know says:

    I would rather research and see how other districts are dealing with technology and the tracking for lost or stolen units. Let’s get more information.

    • Look First says:

      The information, Pro or Con, are right out there on the web. It is easy to find some that have done great things with the new technology. The biggest barrier to effective use of this tool are the teachers themselves. The change this introduces into a classroom is significant. Instead of the old lecture and watch formula the students are brought into the teaching interactively. There are all types of programs now that support these tablets. I know that my school from 6th grade forward is all taught with laptops and tablets. They have the staff to maintain them and they have access to more content than traditional books ever have. The data is current and if anyone has bought textbooks in the last few years you know how expensive they are. Also, if you had an old edition of that book and now there is a new edition of the book, your old book is now obsolete. The districts can’t buy new books to replace only the lost or damaged ones. They need to buy the whole class new books to keep everyone on the same page. The biggest dynamic in the classroom is the teacher learning how to teach interactively. If they don’t know how to do it, they will fail. One should click on the Details on North Beach School District. Look at the Expenditures. Look at the percent used for TEACHING. Then go to the top and click on the down arrow next to the words NORTH BEACH SCHOOL DISTRICT. Go back to Washington State. Hit GO. Then use that same arrow and look at Aberdeen or any other district. Note Aberdeen is at 71% Expenditure on TEACHING. North Beach is at 62%. Maybe that speaks to the issue more. Also you can go to http://www.k12.wa.us/DataAdmin/DistrictRevenueExpend.aspx and use the View or Download Data to see more information . Use the little symbol next to County and click on the ALL check mark. Then select only Grays Harbor County. You will see the data for ALL the county schools. You will see Charts under the tab at the bottom to give you a picture or North Beach and all the other districts. Spend the time and an interesting picture is formed.

  3. AnonyMe says:

    At first glance the move to technology seems to have some merit. However. I venture to guess that many if not most of the taxpayers would have trouble telling an i-pad from a mp3 from a kindle from an etch-a-sketch. Myself included! Technology moves much faster than most of us of tax -paying age. I think we need to know a lot more about the capabilities of these devices before any judgements are made. Things like can one device replace more than one book? What is the cost per year/unit? Who will teach both student and teacher to work in the “new” format. Would it in fact be cheaper/better than just “finding” the money to provide books. There certainly appears to be a significant problem if our students cannot be provided with the tools they need to get a quality education but a rush to judgement either way could just increase the problem. At the same time ignoring the problem also allows it to grow. We need to find out what the problem is and why it exists before any discussion on a solution can have real value. We need to support those who are beginning to seek the answer,whatever it may be. Together taxpayers,students, and administrators can and should find the best answer.

    • Test Drive at the Library says:

      Go down to the library. Borrow one of their tablets. Play with it. You can put many books on these things. Other schools have gone this way because it saves money even in the purchase of media. Even our movie theater has gone digital. Books are bought once, but then are obsolete. This young man wants iPads. However, others are using other operating systems. The big question is what courses are available. If everything they take and more are available, great. If there are self study classes so the more advanced students can excel in their studies. Maybe a better offering could be created. Students that need more help may find programs that assist in moving them forward quicker.

  4. Test Drive at the Library says:

    Here is a good review of how a school district implemented the program. http://thejournal.com/pages/cdwg/21st-century-classroom_e-books.aspx

  5. citizenofpoorlyruncity says:

    Many schools have embraced the 21st century and the technology of the “20th” century is not that much of an ask seriously. Do some reading folks. Ipads are being used at other schools very successfully. Heck computers period are delivering educational material in other countries. Why should the kids education suffer because everyone wants to say “well when I grew up we used pen and paper” I am sure that generation had to listen to “well when I grew up we had to use quill pen and inkwell by candlelight” ADAPT and GROW Folks… our # 1 priority should be to the children and their education. Electronic delivery of educational materials is already becoming the new normal. It saves on publishing costs, purchasing costs for schools may be an initial up cost but look at the savings when all you have to do is “DOWNLOAD” the latest and greatest material. It isn’t rocket science. It is common sense. Oh wait I forget …this is Ocean Shores. Probably not.

  6. third world says:

    Wow, last time I saw a classroom with one set of books for the entire class … was in Zimbabwe. Really, this is just outrageous for the U.S. Will the McCleary Decision make a difference, I wonder?

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