UTICA — Mobile education got a boost Monday when the North Fork Board of Education approved a lease contract with Apple to supply iPads to all certified staff.
The board approved the measure following a presentation by English teacher Dana Decker and math instructor Josh Spung. They explained how technology, with many free apps and programs such as Moodle, increases the opportunity for students to learn by exploring and doing. Two students also demonstrated the difference between a bookbag with 25 pounds of textbooks and a 2-pound iPad which could potentially access much more material than contained in the bookbag.
Treasurer Jack McDonald said the iPad agreement would result in substantial long-term savings to the district. It’s a cost neutral agreement, he said, as the cost is offset by reductions in costs for textbooks and supplies.
The current school lunch program was also on Monday’s board menu. Community member Jessi Matthews said the students just are not eating the prepackaged meals. She would like a return to locally prepared meals making use of locally grown fresh, ideally organic, produce as much as possible. Board members Theresa Magers and Lori Stradley agreed the current program doesn’t work and board member Robert Krueger said, “We’ve got the state of the art kitchens and we’ve got the people.” Stradley said changing the system will take a lot of research, but the board is going to work on making a change. The audience applauded.