Thursday, January 21, 2010
Students get laptops
By SUE WATSON
Tenth grade students at Holly Springs High School were recently handed their Apple laptops.
Last year, when these students were in the ninth grade, they all received laptops made available through a technology grant. These same students who turned in their laptops last year at the end of school were handed one of the same Apple MacBooks at a public distribution to students and families at the school auditorium.
Tanesha Scott, technology facilitator, said all laptops but two distributed to the ninth grade were returned and were in working order. A few of them had cracked screens, she said.
The program allows for parents to monitor which sites their child visits to verify if the computer is being used for academic purposes, Scott said. The technology office also makes random checks to see if students are making appropriate use. And some websites are blocked, she said.
Scott said she sees each student about twice a week in their classroom setting to provide new ideas on the uses of the laptops for class work.
The Internet Cafe at the school is also maintained and is available for all high school and junior high students to use for assignments, she said.
Teachers are using Apple MacBooks in the classroom, too, Scott said.
Other provisions allow parents to monitor their child’s use of the computer and some parents ask to have the laptops to shut down after a one-hour use, if the parents think their child should not have unlimited time on the computer.
Not all students accept the free laptop. Two special population students declined last year, she said.
This year participating students are required to pay a $25 fee to participate in the project. The money goes into a school district fund that is used to have the computers repaired, Scott said.
Scott said she believes the laptop project which will follow this class until their senior year when they can buy the computer for $1, is highly successful.
“I feel the program has a huge impact on students,” she said.
She expects students to excel academically and to be technology savvy because of their participation in the project.
“Laptops are just a tool to enhance learning,” she said.
Some high school students are mentoring students in technology at the Intermediate School. Scott said students will mentor at the Primary School this semester.
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