Spamtron Arrives…iPony Delivery is a Reality

I actually looked in my spam filter for Spamtron's lines.

I actually looked in my spam filter for Spamtron’s lines.

On Tuesday, we had a “whole staff” meeting in the auditorium about the delivery of iPads to our students next week. The target date is the 26th, but the logistical reality of the whole thing has not yet entirely been worked out. A badly produced video was shown, and a spokesperson from ISIC read a Powerpoint presentation out loud to us. Questions were answered with excuses, and requests to be “flexible.”

I pointed out many of the flaws in the delivery, and further, the problems we can expect. As expected, and as I said in the meeting, I was generally responded to with patronizing Suit Talk by a woman who did not know a thing about iOS, and used the word “jailbreaking” as if she was trying to pronounce something in Mandarin. My confidence in the so-called District Experts was not high to begin with….it doesn’t exist at all now.

The main point it seems, is to simply push out the devices to the students. There is not a whole lot of educational foundation behind them. That is pretty distressing, including the fact that the District Suits seem not to understand that Pearson, the publisher of their primary Edu-App, seem to think that their app will become the new textbook soon. Same old story of the right hand and the left hand not being in concert.

Also importantly, I am supposed to get the students’ machines set up and running, although I have been provided no materials to do so. For instance, student e-mail addresses with which to create an Apple ID. I haven’t been given any of those, and as any iOS user knows…you need an Apple ID to function. Even Apple was having trouble setting up the teachers with their Apple IDs, to get started, so I’m interested to see how the Sixth Grade teachers explain it, or any problems, to a room full of impatient eleven year olds.

Today, the devices arrived. There were a huge number of them, as well as a fancy “dog and pony” show between Pledge LA and a partner of theirs. The Pledge LA people took a great deal of time to pose for photo ops with the iPads, to pose for photo ops on our campus, to show that they actually came once to a school they supposedly manage. There was a fancy buffet, and music, and other so forth.

Those same “educational partners” did not in fact help to supervise students. They were unaware that I personally stepped in to solve our budget problem, which their multi-million dollar not for profit could not identify, much less solve. They did not even help to unload the iPads, which our VPs were doing instead of their work.

They did, however, take nice photos for fundraising.

I don’t know what annoyed me more: LAUSD poised to provide technology to my students that they cannot educationally support, and furthermore, don’t actually understand themselves…or Pledge LA, which smugly took credit for something that they are not involved in, with the attempt of raising funds. Neither is really concerned with my student outcomes.

Foolishly, I have been doing a major writing assignment, for web publishing with my students. The goal there was simple…to create a forum for student writing, for creative expression, online. A forum accessible by the iPads, thus rendering them useful as an intellectual tool. Sadly, it seems that I am missing the point entirely.

Tomorrow: Greed is Good!

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