Dublin students will soon have technology at their fingertips.
During a recent meeting, the Dublin Independent School District board of trustees unanimously approved an additional expenditure for a technology initiative.
“We have started the process of a one-to-one laptop initiative where every student in high school will have a laptop,” DISD Superintendent Shaun Barnett said. “It’s going to help integrate technology into instruction.”
Barnett said students should receive the Apple MacBooks upon returning from spring break next semester. Until then, high school teachers will receive training on the new program.
“We are very excited about being able to offer this opportunity to our students. It will have a huge impact on their education,” Barnett said. “The school board showed great initiative in granting this to our students.”
The school board’s approval of purchasing and issuing laptops is the second move toward integrating technology into every day instruction in Dublin. The first came in October when the board approved two additional personnel positions for the technology department and authorized the implementation of white boards into classrooms across the district.
Obtaining white boards in all high school classrooms will come first, followed by their placement in several classrooms at each campus, Barnett said.
“Eventually, over time, we will have them in all classrooms across the district,” he said.
The project, which is estimated at $700,000, will be funded through government grants and stimulus money as well as from the Dublin ISD, which Barnett views as money well spent.
“We don’t want to buy $1,000 pencils, we want to implement technology in every day instruction,” Barnett said. “I think the important thing is going to be that as a school district we provide the technology so (students and teachers) comfort levels are increased.”
The district is also looking to extend its WiFi, or access to wireless Internet, beyond the classroom. In addition to stretching its accessibility further than buildings on campus, the district is turning to businesses in the community for assistance.
“We are going to work with community businesses and other groups to try to make WiFi Internet available in community areas so students who don’t have it at home will have it (available) in other areas,” Barnett said.