These days, educators are utilizing more and more activities within their curriculum that rely on technology. For this reason, there has been a growing trend of schools implementing classroom computers and other connected systems for more technologically-advanced learning. For example, institutions in Alabama, California and Florida recently got new classroom computers and computer labs, illustrating an increasing, overall trend.
Alabama school receives grant for computer lab
In mid-April, Daniel Pratt Elementary School announced the opening of its new computer lab, which was made possible through a grant from the State Department of Education and Alabama Sen. Bryan Taylor. Thanks to the funding, elementary school students will now be able to utilize 30 new classroom computers, as well as workspaces to go along with them.
Assistant principal Katie Gazell noted that the new computers will be an invaluable resource for testing purposes.
“All of our testing is done electronically, except for statewide testing,” Gazell said. “We do performance series. It’s helped us with benchmark testing. It’s helped us just move our students forward to where they need to be.”
California institutions sees wireless upgrade
A district in Oakland, Calif., also saw the addition of new classroom computers in April. Administrators announced a recent $3.2 million investment in the district’s wireless infrastructure, as well as the purchase of new Google Chromebooks and other technology upgrades.
The bulk of the upgrades went toward Internet resources, as teachers had been frustrated by slow broadband speeds in the past. Killian Betlach, Elmhurst Community Prep principal, said students and educators could not make good use of the classroom computers as they were getting kicked off the network when a bottleneck occurred. However, the upgrades will ensure that the school’s infrastructure has adequate resources to enable teachers to be less hesitant about relying on classroom computers and other technology.
“Really our plan is that these Chromebooks are for teaching and learning as well as for assessment,” said district IT director John Krull. “We want to have that link between teaching and learning and assessments.”
Florida school opens new computer lab
Also in April, Lake Silver Elementary School opened its new computer lab aimed primarily for use by afterschool programs. The new technology was made possible through a grant from GTECH, a Web-based lottery technology provider in partnership with the Florida Lottery.
The funding bought the school 14 desktop classroom computers, as well as desks, chairs, two printers, a wireless router and classroom management software.
“We are excited that we will have a computer lab and new technology in our new building but even more thrilled to have an additional lab for our Extended Day Program,” said principal Cynthia Swanson.