How LAUSD Is Bringing iPads and Common Sense Media to Los Angeles

February 05, 2014
Audrey Stokes Product Manager, Education
Common Sense Media
San Francisco, United States
CATEGORIES Digital Citizenship, Digital Literacy, In the Classroom

Last December, Jorge Breseño, Director of Instructional Television at KLCS in Los Angeles, sat down with Los Angeles Unified School District's Common Core Technology Project Director, Bernadette Lucas, for a live-broadcast discussion to explore LAUSD's groundbreaking program that's already put iPads in the hands of 25,000 students in 44 schools.

The resulting episode of Tech in the Classroom: An Inside Look #2 highlights the successes, as well as lessons learned, from rolling out a 1-to-1 program. For example, one of the main themes that came out of the first several weeks of rollout was that teachers were seeing a heightened depth of learning for students and teachers, and, most importantly, a heightened level of student leadership. "We're seeing student leadership, teachers facilitating. The teacher is setting up the learning environment, and this technology is allowing the kids to lead," said Lucas.



Later in the broadcast, Lucas and Breseño were joined by John Lawlor, principal at Chavez-Artex High School, and Dayna Harary, a teacher at Middle College High School, to share their hands-on experiences working with students using iPads. One thing each of these technology in education leaders agreed on was that teaching digital citizenship should go hand in hand with a 1-to-1 rollout. According to Lucas, "We care deeply about how our students are making decisions around technology, whether they're at school, at home, at the library, what have you. What we're doing to support schools, students, parents, teachers, and administrators in this is putting out a curriculum that teachers can use, schools can use, and parents can use around educating students on digital citizenship. We're working with organizations such as Common Sense Media, nationally renowned and respected with really fantastic content to support students in decision-making." Lawlor agreed: "When there are issues with kids not using [iPads] appropriately in the class setting – first instinct is to take them away. But we can't, this is their tool for learning. We have to come up with another model. It's first and foremost about teaching them digital citizenship. The beauty of this, when it goes districtwide, is that all of Los Angeles will be a learning community. These are not just for kids, they'll be for parents, their families, their friends. It'll be an opportunity for everybody to be a part of this learning."

So, what do students think? Breseño invited two students from Middle College High School to give their take on the benefits of LAUSD's 1-to-1 initiative. When asked if it feels like school is finally catching up to where they are, one student said, "Absolutely. We're already familiar with [technology] because we're on social networking all the time. With the iPads, it's not always about socializing, there is an educational aspect to it."

The full episode embedded above also includes great insights about how a 1-to-1 program can be beneficial for teaching Common Core, as well as an informative Q&A with viewers at the 30-minute mark.

Has your school started a 1-to-1 initiative? Tell us about your successes and learning moments in the comments below. For more on how Common Sense Media can help your school with a 1-to-1 rollout, take a look at our FREE 1-to-1 Essentials Program.