ICC: Get your pads out

KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane Board of Education watched this week as Juan González, the district’s coordinator of informational technology, gave a presentation about teachers using Apple iPads.

Also at its June 4 meeting the board appointed Lori Creeron supervisor of transportation at an annual salary of $62,000 effective July 1. The position was created as part the 2013-14 school budget approved by voters in May.

Schools Superintendent George Zini and Board President Anthony Welcome both expressed their gratitude to the voters of the district for passing the $34.9 million budget, which included funding for teacher’s aides in the primary and elementary school, a trailer in the primary school to help with overcrowding, an information technology (IT) position and partial funding for the football program.

Much of the funding for the new technology the administration is purchasing comes from a capital improvement project that the community voted to support last winter. Originally the board was going to purchase Smart Board technology with the money but now they are looking into iPads that can project work onto white boards, which will be installed in every high school classroom this summer, allowing teachers to interact with student work.

The 50 Smart Boards the district already has will be used in the primary school. Mr. González said the projectors and interactive white boards are less expensive than the Smart Boards. “So many applications were created for schools,” he said during the presentation about programs that can be used on the iPads. “Thousands of these applications are free on the Internet,” he added.

After the technology presentation, Superintendent Zini said the district needed to purchase about 140 iPads for all the teachers. Administrators are already using iPads and some teachers have been using district iPads as a pilot project. “My goal is to get iPads for every student, especially in the high school,” the superintendent told the board. Though he did not give a time line for when the district could buy iPads for students, he stressed, “Kids do not have access to everything and anything” on school supported iPads. He said there are controls that can block programs and ways to track and insure lost iPads.

When asked about the useful life iPad technology, Mr. Zini said, “Technology changes.” But he said that the iPads are cheaper than the large Smart Boards and if the technology needs updating the district will most likely just have to replace the iPads not the projectors or the white boards.

Tuesday’s meeting was also the last one for board members John Antalek, who did not run for reelection in May, and for Regina Rose, the board vice president who lost her seat in last month’s election. During the meeting’s public comment period former board member Landra Haber thanked Ms. Rose for her service. “She has always worked tirelessly for the district,” said Ms. Haber.

The board will have a special meeting Tuesday, June 18 at 7 p.m. in the Middle School Library.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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