June 25, 2015

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Cody Enterprises, Cody, WY

District should say no to kiosks

Posted: Wednesday, June 24, 2015 4:38 pm

Just because you are able to do something, doesn’t mean you should.

At last week’s regular board meeting of Park County School District No. 6, Instructional Technology Director James Kapptie pitched the idea of SkoolLive door-sized digital kiosks in the schools.

At first glance, we see few benefits and all kinds of potential problems with the idea.

The digital kiosks offer nothing the school couldn’t achieve with an app for smart phones and tablets. And an app wouldn’t be as obtrusive as a six-foot-high electronic billboard flashing out messages and ads.

If the board feels some kind of technology is necessary to disseminate information digitally, there are other options.

In addition to not being optimally utile, talk about offering students an opportunity for vandalism and a challenge for hacking.

In our opinion, it is like waving a red flag in front of a bull.

Then there is the problem of advertising on the kiosk. Advertising is supposed to pay for the program and make the kiosks free.

But only 20 percent of the ad dollars come back to the school while 80 percent of the money goes out of state.

The school district makes the call on who gets to advertise on the kiosk. Who in the district gets to make those decisions?

Does the school allow amazon.com to advertise and make all the local retailers angry?

While the school district has already stated it will not allow the digital SkoolLive shopping platform on the kiosks, would ads for products that cannot be purchased locally be allowed?

If ads are allowed for products that cannot be purchased locally ,will the school allow ads with urls or QR Codes to those online shopping sites?

Would pro-life and pro-choice groups both get to advertise or would both be banned?

We see a situation where no matter what you do, somebody’s going to be angry.

It is our opinion, the school board would be well advised to do more investigation of SkoolLive before making a hasty decision it might regret.

John Malmberg


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