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The future of tech at TEC

Cody Baldridge, Staff Writer

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Cody Baldridge
iPad damage costs the school district a lot of money

     The TEC campus is brimming with technology. Students use iPads for daily assignments in class, Netbooks for test taking, and can participate in Quizlet or other assessment on-line tools with their cell phones. But technology comes with its issues, “The iPads are hard to keep charged throughout the day, also they are hard to write on,” says Sophomore Ty Ivory.

     Matt Kuhn is the District Director of Technology. He knows there are some issues, but sees the devices as a plus, “For the most part, iPads have added a lot of value and efficiency to teaching and learning in Englewood Schools.”

The combination of iPads and Netbooks has made Englewood schools the envy of other districts in the level of technology students have at their disposal, “Over the same time that we have been using    Netbooks/iPads, our district’s performance rating from the CO State Department of Education has gone up two levels to “Performance – Fully Accredited.”

     He knows technology does come with issues. Cost is one. “But sometimes that can be deceiving because you have to think of how many books, paper, and other supplies you would have had to buy if you did not buy the technology. The cost of an iPad is spread out over about 5 years. A new one is about $400. So that is about $80 per year over the life of the iPad.”

     Adding to the costs; breakage. Students are rough with the iPads, “The most common breakage is glass breakage which costs $79 to fix. Lost cords and chargers also cost us money at about $20 for the set.” The TEC IT experts also deal with students forgetting to bring them to school and/or neglecting to charge them up each night.

     Kuhn says Netbooks are being phased out since iPads replaced most of their functions long ago. He says they are obsolete technology that often malfunction. The batteries are old and don’t last very long, “But they don’t cost us very much since we are not buying new ones and we bought them many years ago for about $250 each.”

     As for the future of technology on the TEC campus, there is a committee that recently formed investigating and planning for the next wave of 1-to-1 student technology to be implemented in about a year and a half during the 2018-19 school year. Kuhn says it’s called the “Future Student Technology Committee.” It’s an advisory committee of teachers, administrators, and students. The goal is to have input from many people with many perspectives and opinions about the student’s future devices. This committee will advise district leadership and the Board of Education as to what device will be used to continue our vision of being a 1:1 school district. The timeline of this committee will range from January 2017 to about May 2018.

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