Hoboken High School, Technology Lost. I appreciate and respect Toback sharing the story below regarding the grant for laptops and the failed experience in utilizing them successfully in the Hoboken High School. I also understand that it's not as easy as just give out computers and mission accomplished. But for me the overarching theme is that the people making decisions for the school are not reaching out for help. If initially the plan wasn't well thought out, if there was a plan and it failed, that happens, no one has all the answers and no one is perfect, but we continue to fail our students because we don't work through challenges in a productive way that yields better results. To get a grant to provide laptops for every student is amazing and the result, we throw away computers for a population where most students may not have iPads or computers at home. I have to believe there had to be other options. Before giving up, did the board reach out to schools that have received similar grants to ask how they managed the program? Did they ask for community volunteers and input?
There are people in the community who manage large companies and large projects and implementations, people with technology experience, educators in other towns, maybe someone could've helped re-evaluate and revamp to make it manageable and benefit the kids. Did we engage others in help or just say "well those involved in grant aren't here anymore, it didn't work, not my problem' Was there an opportunity to insert use of laptops in school projects, in monthly classroom or after school activities, were there opportunities for college students or other volunteers or teachers to run after school classes to teach technology, could we have created electives for students to learn power point, excel, programming skills, did they truly and fully reassess options to redeploy the program to benefit the kids? Why did it get to a point where they just wound up in closets? I know things are always more challenging than they seem from the outside but I personally don't trust that our current board is taking the right steps, and right steps often means admitting we are unsure and seeking out others with the expertise and experience to share. This applies to all the schools struggles and without a new approach to building something special we will continue to be in the same place. Some teachers some kids some board members are excelling but we are missing broader opportunities for improvement even small successes are being missed. There are so many of us who are committed to our community and want to be committed to our school. But we want to see teamwork, collaboration, accountability. Hoboken parents, public, charter, private, we need to come together, we can do better than this for our kids! www.wnyc.org/story/why-hoboken-throwing-away-all-its-student-laptops/