Apple researching how Barrington High students use laptops

 
 
Updated 4/10/2018 5:11 PM
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  • Apple Inc. is working with Barrington Area Unit District 220 to research how Barrington High School students use their school-issued laptop computers.

      Apple Inc. is working with Barrington Area Unit District 220 to research how Barrington High School students use their school-issued laptop computers. Bob Susnjara | Staff Photographer

Apple Inc. is working with Barrington High School to research how students use their school-issued laptop computers.

Barrington Area Unit District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris updated school board members on the Apple initiative at a recent meeting. Barrington High is among just a few schools in the country participating in research with the company.

"It's a neat opportunity," Harris said. "We're very fortunate."

Through the district's One to World program, all Barrington High students receive Apple MacBook Air 11-inch laptop computers. One to World, which started in 2014-15, allots Apple iPad tablet computers to students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Barrington High is working with Damian Bebell, a Boston College educational researcher whose work includes studying schools that provide laptops or notebooks to each student, typically known as a one-to-one program. Bebell visited the high school to talk with educators last week.

Since 2012, the district has spent more than $3.3 million on Apple products, software, repairs and other related supplies, according to financial information submitted to the Illinois State Board of Education. The year after the One to World program began, the district spent nearly $1.3 million on Apple hardware and an additional $409,656 on software, supplies and repairs, records show.

District 220 officials said the research will be based off the following question: What barriers are in place, both intentional and unintentional, that prevent full realization of the creative and problem-solving opportunities in the high school's one-to-one learning environment?

"In other words, we're going to look at what's happening, either intentionally or unintentionally, and what are some things we can do differently to move forward," Harris said.

As part of the process with Apple, Matt Fuller, District 220's assistant superintendent for technology and innovation, and two other administrators attended an invitation-only conference at the company's California headquarters in late 2017. District 220 officials plan to present their findings on the Barrington High One to World research at Apple headquarters in December.

Bebell also is researching computer device initiatives at public school systems in Boston and New York City, according to Boston College.

• Daily Herald Staff Writer Jake Griffin contributed to this report.

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