The Grosse Ponite technology bond will have a decidedly positive impact on how students receive their education in our district. A 1:1 environment is a shift in education, but what is important to keep in mind, is that it isn't really a change in what students will be learning, but rather how. And there is very real data showing technology in the classroom works to improve a child’s education.
There is an interesting study out of Abilene Christian University that "centered upon the use of the Statistics 1 app. Students used it in and out of the classroom and remarked that they understood the content better, and were more motivated to do well, when using the app. The instructors agreed with this observation, and added that the students were also better prepared for class."
Another study conducted by the Department of Education finds that children who used the PBS Kids app "Martha Speaks" daily for a period of 2 weeks improved their vocabulary by as much as 21%.
A study reported in Wired magazine finds "that 20% more students (78% compared to 59%) scored 'Proficient' or 'Advanced' in subject comprehension when using tablets rather than paper textbook counterparts." Also, in Clinton Township, Clintondale High School recently switched to a "flipped class" model which allows students to watch video lectures at home as part of their homework, then do the assignments they would traditionally do at home in class with the aid of a teacher. As a result, they saw their failure rate drop from 52% to 19%. The PBS NewsHour did a story about them recently.
But these claims of education technology's ability to transform the learning experience are not just wishful thinking, there is real neurological research behind them.
Technology in the classroom allows students to control their own observations, which stimulates the brain in a different way than if children are just being lectured. Because of this, studies find that technology increases information retention by 23%.
A 1:1 program also allows students to extend the school day. Through tracking software, studies find that three quarters of visits to academic websites by students who are provided devices by their schools come between 3:00 and 9:00 and are related to topics discussed in class that day.
All of this supports the position of the Michigan Department of Education that “if Michigan wants individualized, personalized learning that gives every student a chance at success, providing a device for every student is required.”
Given all this data, it is clear that the benefits of the bond justify the cost and then some. The impact on our students will be real and will be positive. Since most people who come to Grosse Ponite come for the schools, the bond will have a tremendous positive impact on the community as well.
For the good of our students, families, and community, GP Tech Yes would like to ask for your support, and to vote “yes” on February 25.