Our iPad reporting tool has been out for a just a few short weeks, and it is time to give the HSE community an update on the results thus far. The iPad reporting tool was created to help the district and the community deal with 1:1 issues in a transparent way. Currently, there is no tracking of iPad issues at the district level even though it was a district decision.
Admittedly, there has been limited promotion of this tool. We have reached out to district officials to help get the word out, and although they are more than willing to promote other parent activities, working to try to track down problems of their 1:1 iPad initiative seems to not be of interest.
Regardless, the HSE community stepped up and took the time to share their thoughts, good and bad, and the data is revealing. Note, there are a few outliers in the data that have not been weeded out yet.
Question 1: Date of Incident
The purpose of this question was to ensure current issues were being reported, not problems from the pilots or from years past. Except for 1 outlier*, the dates of the incidents are all from the last few months with some as recent as October 17th.
Question 2: Type of Incident
The types of incidents were broken down into the categories above to try to get a sense of what kinds of problems may be occurring. As you can see, there is no strong winner here; the issues are pretty evenly distributed. Many respondents used “Other” because they didn’t find a category they thought fit. Some examples of “Other” comments include, “fighting,” “financial,” and “health.” Also a couple of respondents used the “Other” category to report postive incidents as well.
Question 3: Describe the Incident
The next question asked respondents to describe the incident. We cannot share all of the responses, and it would be a bit overwhelming to display them all here. However, here are a few samples that touch on repeating themes.
We have a limited income, just above the level for textbook assistance but not enough to have extra money every month beyond our bills and basic needs. With three children in school, the iPads are a financial hardship. This is not an item my family would purchase one of, let alone three of, unless we were required to. We are renting, and even that money is a strain for us. I live in constant fear of one of my kids breaking these at school or on the bus, as we don’t have the money to replace one. As someone who works hard to live within my budget, I consider this a “want” and not a need.
Because parents set up the ipad at home, and not the children at school, my children have ipad tied to their father’s apple account. We are divorced and the children are at my house the majority of the week. Because the ipads were sent home on dad’s day, he set them up and refuses to give us the apple password. we cannot download apps when the teacher requests them because of this, as the app store requests the password every time.
We have our 5th grade son on a filter level set at “kid”. When I was checking the search history, I still found that he is looking up “girl’s breasts” and the images that came up were far from filtered. The next level down is a preschool level, which we can’t choose because email isn’t an option with it. He is a 5th grade boy, so this isn’t entirely surprising. He knows he did wrong and we have consequences in place if it happens again. We would not have an iPad in his hands if it were not required by the school. I feel like we have done what we can besides literally sitting next to him every time he is on his iPad. Who has time to do that though? I really fear for the boys at Hamilton Southeastern. I will not be surprised if there ends up being high percentage of boys addicted to pornography. But if that ends up being the case, I’m sure it will be looked at as a parenting issue. I’m feeling defeated in this area. I would love it if iPads could just stay at school for all ages and parents could still choose what technology gets in their child’s hands at home as they feel the child is mature enough for it.
The introduction of the iPad into our home life has caused me a great deal of stress. This could have been avoided if the district had provided each student with an apple ID, a rented device, tech setup, and kept these devices at school. Instead, we at home need to manage, update, load and maintain these expensive pieces of equipment that, honestly, I don’t know how to use because I don’t have one. I have lost my patience with my children and with my husband multiple times because of the stress of not understanding or worrying about breaking/losing the iPad causes me. I feel that if the district did not have the financial means to provide each student with an iPad and charge that iPad at school, they should have waited until they did have the resources to push forward with this initiative, instead of putting the burden onto our family life.
Teachers waste a minimum of an hour of instruction time weekly dealing with technical issues.
Question 4: Student’s Grade
The goal with this question is to find out if there are any trends in certain grade levels experiencing more problems then others. To date, grades 3-6 have the most reports. Grades K-2 are allowed to keep the iPads in school. Does being forced to take the iPads home cause the increase in incidents in grades 3-6?
Question 5: Have you reported the issue?
It is preferable that the district would be collecting data on their own multimillion dollar initiative, but we know that reports to teachers and principals are not tracked. The purpose of this question is to find out how many problems are going unreported. So far almost 50% of incidents have not been reported. Given our small sample size, the percentage may be much higher as there are likely many people facing issues with the 1:1 rollout that have not yet reported them. National statistics say for every 1 report, up to 26 people experience something similar and don’t report it. So it is safe to assume that there are many more technology incidents unreported to the school district and to this reporting tool.
Question 6: Has your issue been resolved?
Any major undertaking like this is going to run into speedbumps along the way. The question here is trying to find out how quickly and effectively the district is finding problems and resolving them. So far the results don’t look good, but how much of this has to do with the fact that the district isn’t collecting or tracking problems on their own?
Conclusions Thus Far:
Since there was no assistance from the district in promoting this reporting tool in the community, it is hard to say how representative the data is. It certainly represents a lot of parents, but how many parents are being missed? Ideally, this type of feedback would be best tracked transparently by the district.
A multimillion dollar initiative like the 1:1 iPad rollout should have some accounting and mechanisms for tracking feedback and correcting problems. For example, it is possible the number of issues resolved would be a lot higher if the district made it easy to report an issue and then followed up with the complainant to make sure the issue was fixed. It appears from the data a lot of the issues are the same just occurring at different schools, so fixing it once for everyone would resolve a lot of parent issues. Unfortunately, for the time being, we are left to tools supported by volunteers to track whether the promises of this initiative will come to fruition and whether the money spent is worth the risks and gains.
If you would like more transparent tools in place to track problems, gather parent feedback, and measure the impact of the 1:1 initiative please contact your school board representative.
*While the majority of feedback has been positive, there have been a few individuals that have tried to abuse this tool. Although statistically insignificant, it is sad that people would waste the time of volunteers who are trying to help provide more information.