At Veterans Park Elementary, the tools of tomorrow are here today.
Principal Melissa Knowles uses an iPad on a daily basis.
“We went wireless last fall – the fall of 2012. And have had quite a bit of technology increasing throughout the building at that time,” explained Knowles.
Because of that, it won’t be long before all the students go high-tech as well.
Plans are in the works to get personal computers not just into the classrooms… as some are already… but actually into the hands of the students on a daily basis.
“It’s a cost-effective way to move forward,” said Ludlow School Superintendent Todd Gazda. “Have our students access the technology without overloading our school budget.”
Each PC… called a Chromebook…. costs about 250 dollars.
Ideally, Superintendent Gazda would provide each of the 5 public schools in his district with enough for students to share – 1 for every 2 kids.
“In past years there’s been a big push for one to one. And I’m not convinced we need to go to one to one because so many of our students have their own devices,” said Gazda.
The district has piloted “bring your own devices” in the last few years to get the tech ball rolling.
And so far, so good.
“The kids love it. It’s very engaging to them and we’re able to integrate the teacher’s lessons with technology,” said Knowles.
“It really all comes back to teaching and instruction,” said Gazda. “These are tools. These are ways to access information and organize that information.”
The district hopes to have wireless internet access at all of its elementary and middle schools by the end of the year and at the high school no later than October 2014.
By then the Chromebooks should be district wide as well.
Superintendent Gazda says he’s asking for $80-thousand dollars in the school budget be used to buy Chromebooks – that’s about 320 for the current school year, with more to be purchased in the future.