School district eyes iPads

Tech committee is recommending purchase of several tablets

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In an effort to keep pace with changing technology, the Camas School District is considering purchasing several ipad Minis, adapters and a MacBook for classroom use this coming school year.

The purchase would be a part of the district’s revised technology plan. The current one is set to expire at the end of the school year.

“We’re basically looking through the past plan, and aligning ideas with curriculum and technology,” said Jeff Snell, deputy superintendent. “We want to get carts of ipad Minis into classrooms.”

Currently, there is a group of eighth-grade students and teachers who are participating in a tablet pilot project, and the information is being used to gather feedback for the technology committee as they assess district needs.

“The goal is to get as many devices as we can with the current (wireless) infrastructure and teacher support,” he said.

“One of our goals is to have the teachers using the devices for assessments.”

Wireless internet is now available throughout the Camas School District, and the high school has adopted a “bring your own device” policy. This has all occurred in the past year. There are approximately 4,000 wireless devices accessing it.

“We are not platform specific,” said Sherman Davis, technology director. “We want people to be able to use whatever device they are comfortable with, whether its a Smart phone, iphone, ipad, or other tablet.”

However, the district does have safeguards in place to prevent students from using wireless devices to visit social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram.

“They have to go through a content filter, and it acts as another level to safeguard our users,” Davis said. “So parents don’t have to worry that their fifth-grader is going to be looking at sites they shouldn’t (with a district tablet).”

Davis is also setting up Google Cloud accounts for students to access classroom work anytime, anyplace, without having to use a flash drive.

In addition, they will also have access to software that some might not otherwise be able to afford.

E-mail will not be included.

Davis and Snell will present the technology plan to the School Board on Monday, at its regular 5:30 p.m. meeting in the Zellerbach administration building, 841 N.E. 22nd Ave.