Corvallis School District prepares for iPad rollout

2013-08-27T08:00:00Z Corvallis School District prepares for iPad rolloutBy Anthony Rimel, Corvallis Gazette-Times Corvallis Gazette Times

The Corvallis School district has purchased 1,720 new iPads as a part of its effort to put learning technology in the hands of every student in Corvallis by 2014-15.

Rob Singleton, technology services manager for the district, told the school board Aug. 19 that the wireless networks at Cheldelin, Linus Pauling and Mountain View schools also were enhanced during the summer to prepare for the introductions of iPads at those schools.

“We are on track to have all of the additional Wi-Fi infrastructure improvements made for the first day of school.”

The cost of installing the new wireless networks was $366,776. The iPads cost the district another $688,000.

According to Singleton, every classroom at the schools will have Wi-Fi access and the schools’ networks have been improved to better handle the increased demand.

Every student at the three schools will have an iPad for use in the classroom, and students in third-grade and above will be able to take the devices home to use for school work and class reading.

Assistant Superintendent Kevin Bogatin said the district administration has talked to staff members at other districts that have already implemented their own one-to-one technology plans, and found that most students in grades three and up are responsible enough with their devices to take them home.

Bogatin said the schools already trust students with textbooks that cost $75 a piece, and many students have calculators worth $150.

Families will be expected to pay the repair or replacement cost on damaged, lost or stolen iPads, but Bogatin said the district will be offering an optional annual $45 insurance program, with a deductible in the $75 to $150 range, depending on the age of the iPad. The iPad mini that kindergarten students will use cost $329, and the regular iPads to be used by the higher grades cost $500 and up.

Bogatin said in a situation where a family did not want to take on the responsibility for the device the students would probably be able to check iPads out of their school’s library for class.

“This is an essential tool in the classroom,” he said. District staff see the devices as being used for classwork, educational games, homework and plan to use them to replace print textbooks.

Although, the buildings will have their infrastructure ready at the start of the school year, only the elementary classrooms will start the year with the devices. The middle school students will not get their devices until mid-October.

Bogatin said the phased rollout will give the administration time to address any issues that may come up with the wireless networks the schools have installed.

“We’re hoping this works well, infrastructure-wise,” he said.

Bogatin said the district already has begun the process of giving every teacher in the district an iPad for use in the classroom, and training the teachers how to use the devices.

Bogatin added that teachers are excited for the possibilities the devices bring to the classroom.

“They can really bring the classroom alive,” he said.

Anthony Rimel covers K-12 education. He can be reached at 541-758-9526 or anthony.rimel@lee.net.

Copyright 2015 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(5) Comments

  1. Fishwrapper
    Report Abuse
    Fishwrapper - August 29, 2013 10:02 am
    "Learning technology" for the elementary grades: A pencil and paper. Learn to spell. Learn to write. Learn to add, to subtract, and what seven times eight equals. Learning means absorbing knowledge, and elementary learning means absorbing those building blocks we call reading, writing, and arithmetic.

    There are plenty of us old farts out here who are living, breathing proof that you can "learn" how to use new technologies at just about any age, but studies have shown that the best time for learning by rote is in these formative elementary years. Language skills and vocabulary, math facts and skills - all are best learned early, forming solid building blocks upon which future learning is built.

    Time taken to teach to the tool is a learning opportunity stolen from our children.

    Siri is not a teacher. While these iPads could be a blessing, if current trends in how we go about educating our children is any indicator, I'm inclined to think they may be a curse.

    With best regards,

    Will Overhead, '33
    The Fishwrapper
  2. falsedawn
    Report Abuse
    falsedawn - August 27, 2013 6:50 pm
    Corvallis/Benton County spend over a million dollars on this iPad boondoggle and nearly half a million dollars on a railroad. Guess which way I'm going to vote on future requests for money?
  3. curious one
    Report Abuse
    curious one - August 27, 2013 2:22 pm
    I don't have one. Have to use the money to pay the taxes so the district can provide them to other people's kids! Interesting world in which we live, and there is nothing the ipad can teach that kids can't get in other ways. Also, why kindergarten? Anyone wonder where they got the money for all this?

    Oh wait, I missed something here, with the ipad, we won't need teachers soon, will we. Yeh that will save some money!
  4. Scott Burress
    Report Abuse
    Scott Burress - August 27, 2013 1:11 pm
    What? The ipads cost $500 apiece? No discount? I think the district should’ve haggled for a cut-rate price. Apple stands to gain many future customers. They should sell them to schools for $150 apiece.

    HP is selling a tablet for $170 (retail price), and I’m pretty sure that they would sell them to our schools for $140 apiece.

    I'm not opposed to the idea, but I think the District should've shopped around a little more.
  5. TheRealJules
    Report Abuse
    TheRealJules - August 27, 2013 12:59 pm
    Yes, each student busy surfing the web or facebooking on their personal iPad will certainly make the room "come alive".

    A million dollars we don't have spent for things we don't need. Don't you dare come to us taxpayers asking for a levy, school district.
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