Manawa School District continues with technology updates
The first paragraph of the Executive Summary of that plan states, "The School District of Manawa has made a commitment to the technological education of its students and the technological support to its staff for the purpose of continuous improvement of the educational process. Today's society and the 'No Child Left Behind' legislation has made it imperative to have a vision for the use of technology to enhance and support the educational process and prepare our students for a highly technical and global society. That vision directs the district to constantly evaluate our current situation, prepare financially for continuous updates, provide technology based staff development, and integrate technology skills into all aspects of the district's curriculum."
For the past year, the School District of Manawa has been making technological upgrades throughout the district. Students will notice many of these upgrades during the 2012-13 school year.
Brian Adesso, director of financial services for the School District of Manawa, said the district has purchased laptop computers for every teacher. Also, a couple of mobile labs for classrooms have been purchased, with each containing 30 laptop computers.
"The philosophy behind that was to get them used to a mobile environment so they can take their classroom into any space, whether it is outdoors or any room in the building. They can take their classroom anywhere in the district," Adesso said.
Laptops were also purchased for each school board member "to get them more familiar with the technology and hopefully move to a paperless board meeting," Adesso said.
Going to a paperless board meeting would save the school district the cost of printing the board packets for each meeting, Adesso said.
The phone system was also upgraded.
"Our phone system was 20-plus years old," Adesso said. "It was donated to the district by Sturm Foods at that time. It was outdated and we went to an IP Centric phone system."
By working with Manawa Telephone Company, Adesso said the cost of the new phone system will add roughly $100 to the district's monthly bill. This is less expensive than the original plan for the upgraded phone system.
"What we were going to do was buy a system that we were going to hub in the district," Adesso said. "We switched that to where Manawa Telephone is actually going to manage all the equipment and the phones are going to communicate back to Manawa Telephone.
"I just want to stress that with our phones, they are there to upgrade our system and provide better quality and better access."
This upcoming school year will also see the introduction of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program for students. This policy was adopted by the Manawa Board of Education last year.
"It allows students to bring in technological devices that they can use to do research," Adesso said. "At the time we didn't have our building outfitted with wireless technology so we did that at the end of the year. We put up access points throughout the district and access points outside the buildings so those laptops for teachers will be able to work anywhere through the wireless."
Adesso said the district has policies in place to prevent students who bring their own device from abusing the program. Students and parents will be required to sign a form that states what the guidelines are for the program. Teachers will be in control of the program for their classes, and teachers are not required to use the BYOD program.
"We're trying to push the 21st Century market environment," Adesso said. "We're looking at technology being available for students so that in a classroom, if there is a question about World War II or something, students will be able to Google it and find the answer and the discussion can continue, instead of the teacher saying to research it that night. It can be instant, and the discussion can continue."
- Farmington citizens want County Q fixed
- Clintonville hires new principal
- Meet the artists on May 28
- Olsen, Petersen discuss school revenue
- More dam issues in Manawa (2)
- W-F schools have new principal
- Schroeder to serve on Dayton board (1)
- Lessons in design
- Principal Mummy (13)
- Planting the seeds of learning