Skip to comments.Why Hoboken is Throwing Away All of its Student Laptops
Posted on 07/29/2014 5:14:55 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
Inside Hobokens combined junior-senior high school is a storage closet. Behind the locked door, some mothballed laptop computers are strewn among brown cardboard boxes. Others are stacked one atop another. Dozens more are stored on mobile computer carts, many of them on their last legs.
Thats all that remains from a failed experiment to assign every student a laptop at Hoboken Junior Senior High School. It began five years ago with an unexpected windfall of stimulus money from Washington, D.C., and good intentions to help the districts students, the majority of whom are under or near the poverty line, keep up with their wealthier peers. But Hoboken faced problem after problem and is abandoning the laptops entirely this summer.
We had the money to buy them, but maybe not the best implementation, said Mark Toback, the current superintendent of Hoboken School District. It became unsustainable.
None of the school administrators who initiated Hobokens one-to-one laptop program still work there. Toback agreed to share Hobokens experiences so that other schools can learn from it.
(Excerpt) Read more at wnyc.org ...
Who didn’t see this coming?
How many of the laptops were sold to pay for crack?
so home much “Stimulus money” was laundered through education to make it to Apple to be donated back to Dems?
Learning is a multi-faceted experience. The more immersive the environment, the more likely a student will learn. The more that is done for the student, the less he will learn.
If it were up to me, a student would have a textbook, pens and paper, and math or science charts only.
I taught for several years in a technical college where every student had a laptop (paid for with student fees). While the faculty was trained in using the laptops in teaching and they opened some new teaching opportunities, most students spent their class time posting to facebook, texting and surfing the web. I started having my students close their laptops during my lectures. Our local school district has now given junior high students tablets and I’m sure their real experience will be little different.
Laptops for everyone. What could go wrong?
A perfect picture of a collectivist program and its results.
What more can you say?
“Kill ‘em all and let God sort it out”? ;’)
Obama’s stash dried up and what he has left is going to illegals... hopebroken and change...
If it were up to me, a student would have a textbook, pens and paper, and math or science charts only.”
Like we used to have back one could learn something in public school. Although later some students required a slide rule or an abacus.
What a bunch of idiots. I know they do it at several schools around here and it works great.
They sure hire idiots.
Students deliberately sabotage the computers, and they’re very good at it.
There is no better way to learn. I think the only way one could improve upon that is through virtual reality where a student could interact with a teacher repeatedly until the subject material was mastered.
-——What a bunch of idiots. I know they do it at several schools around here and it works great.-——
The problem I believe is one of demographics rather than hiring idiots....
We are talking about Hoboken....
Vast numbers of the students are raised in a gibsmedat environment so taking care of an expensive laptop is not a “value” that is taught at home...
This school district is giving them all IPADS from grade 6 and up.
Saw similar thing in Jersey City number years ago
Used grants to buy computers(desktop) for every classroom
Kids would vandalize them - break CD rom drives, cut kb/mouse
and other cables
Put Linux on those laptops and they’ll run like new. They can also kiosk-mode Firefox to lock down the browser.
The Catholic schools around here use iPads but they have a disciplinary system also and the ability to enforce it.
Huh? Hoboken is not exactly known for its “gibsmedat environment.”
I was in a situation where they used computers for testing an incoming Freshman class. It was a teacher-intensive mess to supervise.
It’s all in implementation and policy. Block You Tube, Facebook, etc. It’s doable. I set up an entire school with tablets with managed content. Even the teachers couldn’t buy anything without approval. Kids and parents sign a notice of responsibility and the kid keeps the same device through their time at the school. Lock them up in a charging cart until ready to use in class and then you have the kids sign them out. Parents are financially responsible for damage. You set up the appropriate filters and policies and they are a fantastic tool to supplement instruction. Notice I said supplement, not replace. Sounds like this district was clueless.
Really interesting, but not unexpected result.
You know... I stand corrected.... I was thinking Camden for some reason....
When the lights go out, 300,000,000 Americans will die within a month. Won’t have a clue what to do, nor how to get back to where they were.
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Computers, with rare exception, have amplified “income inequality”, in that they make smarter people more capable, and the...uhhh...”less smart” less capable. Even FR is a mixed bag, a time-suck, although it may have improved my writing and critical thinking skills. Perhaps it’s sharpened my wit.
Anyway, this school really, really should have used the Internet and consulted the best practices that a business would have maintaining a fleet of equipment. I’ll bet that instead, they gave $xxxx extra to the social studies teacher to help run the show. The article describes mistakes that a for-profit company would NEVER have made.
First thing, each student should have been made aware that having one was a “shared responsibility”.
Everyone in unison - DUUUUUUUUUUH!
Has anyone bothered to find out if kids are actually learning anything when they have a computer thrown at them?
My kids did JUST FINE (and by that I means years ahead of their age level) NEVER using a computer to learn on, even though all the losers around them had computers (and I-Phones).
We built Hoover Dam, got to the Moon, built the Space Shuttle, and the 747 with people that someone managed to get educated without the use of computers - it really can be done.
” and good intentions”
I would lime for somebody to tell me how taking money from some by force so as to give to others (while taking credit, power and glory for oneself) is “good intentions”.
My kids all get laptops from school. Not sure if they are allowed in class. They don’t have access to facebook, etc. I think google may even be off limits, or they have filters on it. (They often use their own computers for research, photos, etc.) All in all it works out okay, except once-in-awhile the teachers make them do something using some online software that is stupid and unwieldy. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of that crap the teachers get a kick-back on!
Two days before returning one computer my daughter put a heavy book on it and cracked the screen! $80 or something. Last year some key kept coming off right from the get-go. I saved it in a plastic bag and glued it back in place the day before turning it in.
Should have forced them to build them themselves, just for starters. (Facebook for ____hours for successful task) Then, in order to use them, pass the ABCs of programming, and/or component building, or interelated tasks.
Loot from the working stiff becomes free money from the politicians.
Actually, I have to ADMIRE those kids for trashing their laptops...they seem to be the ONLY PEOPLE to realize that computers are USELESS as learning tools and they want NOTHING to do with them.
Even the one lady to vote against them thinks it’s only a problem of implementation, and therefore not endemic. Sounds a lot like what the Communists (in the US) said about Communism...one you get it right, all will be wonderful.
They used sliderules. We still have one.
The working stiffs are among the most uninformed of Americans. Too busy to learn, I suppose.
Laptops only work for the literate. That shut out a BUNCH of students.
I wouldn’t say that computers have helped anybody because for all people, regardless of their abilities, a computer hinders the immersive aspect for all learners. It may be easier to deal with if one is highly visual or auditory, because for a visual or audio learner the most important need to learn is to see or hear the material.
Somebody who is a kinesthetic learner, regardless of his ability, would be at a disadvantage because can’t use his modal of learning to learn.
Problem 1: Accepting “free” money.
Problem 2: Not having any idea how to use the computers before they were purchased.
Problem 3: Not analyzing the capabilities of the machines required to meet the needs identified in the nonexistent plan/idea/concept on how to use the computers.
Problem 4: Purchasing a raft of computers that were inadequate to the ill-/un-defined requirements.
Problem 5: Failure to identify training requirements for the teachers and the students.
Problem 6: Giving a computer to each teacher who apparently were not skilled enough to know how to use them.
Problem 7: Not implementing a robust enough network to support the computers because the school system had no idea what the requirements were.
Problem 8: Giving a computer to each student when the average student in the school system had no respect for property.
We had half a dozen kids in a day, on a regular basis, bringing laptops down, going my books fell on top of it, somebody sat on it, I dropped it, said Crocamo.
Screens cracked. Batteries died. Keys popped off. Viruses attacked. Crocamo found that teenagers with laptops are still teenagers.
Yep. Seen this.
We bought laptops that had reinforced hard-shell cases so that we could try to offset some of the damage these kids were going to do, said Crocamo. I was pretty impressed with some of the damage they did anyway. Some of the laptops would come back to us completely destroyed.
Yep. Seeing this here in LAUSD.
Hoboken school officials were also worried they couldnt control which websites students would visit. Crocamo installed software to block pornography, gaming sites and Facebook. He disabled the built-in web cameras. He even installed software to block students from undoing these controls. But Crocamo says students found forums on the Internet that showed them how to access everything.
There is no more determined hacker, so to speak, than a 12-year-old who has a computer, said Crocamo.
Yep. My students have shown ME things on the internet. Things I was like "Wait... how did you... OH, MAKE THAT GO AWAY!!"
All this security software also bogged down the computers. Teachers complained it took 20 minutes for them to boot up, only to crash afterwards.
Yep. Exactly my experience. Tech is a nightmare to work with. You have to have a full-time tech support guy in the room with you or it's just more trouble than it's worth. I tried at first, I really did, but eventually I was just like "Nope. We are returning to the land of whiteboards, books, papers, and pens."
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