Archives for the month of: September, 2014

L.A. Unified survey finds little use of iPads’ curriculum

The iPad experiment in LA Unified has been a saga.

From the story:

The review, conducted by a nine-member team from the Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research, offers a sharp contrast to early pronouncements from the school district on the $1.3-billion effort. In particular, Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy labeled the project “an astonishing success” and officials faulted media reports for suggesting otherwise.

Taking notes on laptops rather than in longhand is increasingly common. Many researchers have suggested that laptop note taking is less effective than longhand note taking for learning. Prior studies have primarily focused on students’ capacity for multitasking and distraction when using laptops. The present research suggests that even when laptops are used solely to take notes, they may still be impairing learning because their use results in shallower processing. In three studies, we found that students who took notes on laptops performed worse on conceptual questions than students who took notes longhand. [emphasis added] We show that whereas taking more notes can be beneficial, laptop note takers’ tendency to transcribe lectures verbatim rather than processing information and reframing it in their own words is detrimental to learning.
The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking Pam A. Mueller1 Daniel M. Oppenheimer2 Published online before print April 23, 2014, doi: 10.1177/0956797614524581 Psychological Science

This study was done at Princeton.

Here’s the Science Daily summary:

Dust off those Bic ballpoints and college-ruled notebooks: research shows that taking notes by hand is better than taking notes on a laptop for remembering conceptual information over the long term.

Take notes by hand for better long-term comprehension

UPDATE of a post from 5/29/2013 The “fund balance” is the budget surplus, sometimes called a “rainy day” fund. By definition, it is money listed in the budget that is not designated to pay for programs. Districts have been advised to use the fund balance to stay within the tax cap, and in the May 2013 election 97% of NY districts did so. IUFSD chose to break the cap in order to keep its fund balance at the maximum allowable under the law — while borrowing $3.5 million to pay tax certs.

Year Fund  balance (budget surplus) Percent of budget
2008-2009 $1,949,375 3.85%
2009-2010 $2,040,362 4%
2010-2011 $1,994,787 4%
2011-2012 $2,012,995 4%
2012-2013 $2,046,240 4%
2013-2014 $2,162,800 4%
2014-2015 $2,251,761 4%
Amount by which 2013-2014 budget overrode tax cap $1,277,756


AND SEE: Singapore math explains the budget