In an effort to better understand how students could use personal iPads, members of the Kirkwood School District (KSD) plan to visit Springfield, IL, to see how public school students are using the tablets.
The trip, scheduled for Dec. 18, is part of ongoing research into whether the Kirkwood School District should provide students with iPads as it explores a one-to-one technology model in which every student in the district would receive a personal electronic device.
Administrators, technology leaders and school board members will have the opportunity to talk with Springfield Public School officials and teachers and observe how students are using iPads in the classroom.
"We'll ask them, 'What do you wish you had known before you did this? And, what would you do if you had to do it all over again?'" Chris Raeker, assistant superintendent of curriculum for Kirkwood schools told Board members Monday during a work session.
Raeker said that the district would like to bring a proposal before the board in January for a pilot program that would give iPads to some students.
Raeker envisions that a proposal for a pilot program presented to the board would ask for 20 classroom sets of iPads. The classrooms would span elementary middle and high school grade levels. Students given iPads would have the chance to take the tablets home and bring them back to school.
No public school district in St. Louis County has implemented a 1:1 iPad initiative, according to Raeker.
"The important thing is we want to go into any decision we make with our eyes open, that we're very careful and thinking through every aspect of this. We want to do as much research as possible to do this right," Raeker said.
At the beginning of this school year, teachers were given iPads and iPad carts have made their way into Kirkwood classrooms.
See previous story: Kirkwood Teachers to Get iPads.