The Kloiber Foundation
Study on Sharing iPads
The concept of school districts establishing “innovation zones” first popular in the ’90’s has made a resurgence in the U.S. As described in an article in Education Week, the idea is to give schools and districts more leeway on several aspects of school operations, aspects that could cause a hindrance to exploring new and innovative methods of educating our children. With the overall consensus being that by and large the systems in place and being used in many districts aren’t producing a high enough level of result, exploring strategies outside the norm seems like a good option. This approach also seems like a good way to discover ways to address deficiencies particular to individual districts.

Through a sharing of results, tested and proven methods could be adopted in districts faced with similar problems nationwide. The concern we would have is the same as one mentioned in the article, namely the system of proving the methods over time and the accountability framework. Apparently many of the programs from the nineties were constructed in a way that allowed them to regress to the old status quo, making it difficult to tell if the changes made really made an impact on the students learning. So, while new and different can be good, it needs to be grounded in solid research and followed closely with an accurate measuring tool in place to gauge it’s efficacy.