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It used to be that computers in schools were a novelty. Either for word processing or just the sake of learning how to use them, these machines experienced little implementation and were not considered essential. Yet for the lack of actual computers in the classroom, there has still been a general acceptance that technology has powerful applications in the learning process.

“The idea that technology can revolutionize education is not new,” stated The Economist in 2013. “In the 20th century almost every new invention was supposed to have big implications for schools. Companies promoting typewriters, moving pictures, film projectors, educational television, computers and CD-ROMS have all promised to improve student performance.”

But things change. Now that computers play such a fundamental role in everyday life, their significance has increased. It is easier to access information and to communicate with teachers and while there has been a struggle to get computers into classrooms due to funding issues, there is no doubt about the increased interest in and appearance of these devices in schools.

More educational facilities are finding ways to get their students more connected. Be it through much-needed financial support or an alternative way in which to distribute hardware, many schools are doing what they have to get students learning.

School district adapts to aging devices
Despite reports suggesting otherwise, the Hoboken School District in New Jersey is not axing their laptop program entirely. While facilities under this jurisdiction did at one point aim to provide a laptop for every one of their 7th and 8th graders, the initial pool of 300 machines was recently cut back to 200. While some speculated this to be the beginning of the end for the program, this was not the case.

Hoboken schools have phased out old, obsolete machines and placed the still-functioning units on rolling carts that can be moved from classroom to classroom. While, ideally, every student would have a personal machine, the unforgiving cycle of tech updates can quickly diminish the number of viable computers in a classroom at any given time. The Hoboken School District is doing what it needs to do in order to keep moving ahead.

This is just one example of how learning institutions have to adapt in the face of academic disparity. Whether schools are having their funding cut or have yet to receive any at all for technology, they seemingly have to spend more time making sure they can retain these devices than finding innovative ways in which they can be used.

Naysayers may have negative impact on funding
While there are countless people out there who support educational technology, one of the main reasons that implementations are so far behind – or failing – is because there are still those who do not see their merit. While it is true that computers hold untold possibilities for time-wasting, they are also incredibly valuable assets that are becoming essential to the learning process. Additionally, they can be outfitted with software that allows teachers to guide students in productive ways.

By using tools like application whitelisting and classroom monitoring software, as well as other programs offered by Faronics, computers can become portals for learning that are free of distractions. As long as these kinds of assets are in place, there is nothing stopping PCs and laptops from doing what they are intended to be used for. But in order for this to happen, there has to be a greater push from legislative bodies to finance educational technology, and that might involve convincing naysayers of what students can accomplish on computers.

About The Author

Suzannah Hastings

Suzannah is interested in all things digital, from software security to the latest technological advances. She writes about ways in which the increasingly internet-driven landscape and windows technologies like steady state alternative that change our lives, and what we can expect in the future.

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