Fishers school leaders to vote on debated technology requirement

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) – The board for Hamilton Southeastern Schools is expected to vote Wednesday on an issue that has raised debate in the community over technology requirements in and out of the classroom.

The vote is a response to calls to change a plan that would put tablets in students’ hands starting in kindergarten by the 2016-17 school year.

Petitions for and against the district’s 1:1 iPad rollout have acquired hundreds of signatures.

Some parents have expressed concerns over cost and screen time for the youngest students and responsibility for breakable technology.

Supporters of the plan have said they were surprised by the sudden opposition.

“We’ve dealt with the questions, we’ve looked for the answers to the same questions that these people are struggling with today. We looked at those five, six years ago. This was not an overnight process. This plan is the result of rigorous planning, good, solid academic research and some of the best minds in the district spent five years developing this plan,” Jason Pierce, the creator of a Facebook group supporting the proposal said.

One group has invited parents to meet before Wednesday night’s board meeting to stand together, tablets in hand as a visual sign of support.

“These kids inherently understand these devices. It’s part of their world. It’s part of their world in their daily lives and why shouldn’t it be just as big a part of their world in their educational opportunities,” district mother Sara Mills Henderson said.

The HSE school board meets at 7 p.m. at Fishers Junior High School.


Hoosier cities ranked among ‘Hardest Working’

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Two Indiana cities are among the top 116 metropolitan areas across the country identified as “2020’s Hardest Working Cities in America,” according to a new study from WalletHub.

The personal finance website places Indianapolis at No. 47 and Fort Wayne at No. 72.

The ranking is based on 11 key metrics. The data set ranges from employment rate to average weekly work hours to share of workers with multiple jobs. WalletHub says the average U.S. worker puts in 1,786 hours per year, which is much higher than many other industrialized countries.

For instance, U.S. workers put in 403 more hours each year than German workers. For an average 40-hour workweek, that’s ten weeks of additional time “on the clock.”

But WalletHub says working more hours does not necessarily translate into higher productivity.

“In fact, empirical research shows that as the number of working hours increases, employee productivity starts to decline,” said Stephanie Andel, an assistant professor in the IUPUI Department of Psychology.

Andel is one of five experts asked by WalletHub to weigh-in on the workload.

“We simply are not wired to be working constantly, and we lose valuable mental resources as the workday goes on,” explains Andel. “This reduces our ability to maintain our work engagement over long periods, and in turn, creates diminishing returns when it comes to employee output and productivity.”

The list also included data on average commute time and the number of workers leaving vacation time unused.

“Overworked employees also struggle to balance their work and non-work roles (such as family demands), which further impacts their stress and health levels,” Andel said. “These problematic outcomes can also be felt by the organization’s bottom line in the form of increasing health insurance costs, employee absenteeism and turnover.”

WalletHub says the hardest working U.S. city is Anchorage, Alaska.

Click here to view the entire list.