Strum (WQOW) - A local school district is planning on loaning their students iPods, iPads, and Macbook computers. It's a costly move, but one that Eleva-Strum feels will help modernize the school's technology.
Eleva-Strum High School is bringing modern technology into the classroom.
"We'd be talking about roughly 500 to 600 students receiving some sort of digital device," says Eleva-Strum Superintendent Craig Semingson.
IPads, iPods, laptops, you name it; Eleva-Strum is considering it.
"There are very few districts in our area that are looking at pursuing this on the scale that we are. We are looking to customize their education so that they are able to reach their potential," J.B. Grangaard, the district's technology coordinator, says.
It would be hard to find a student who would complain about that. Beginning next fall, students in kindergarten through second grade will receive an iPod, kids in third through eighth grade will get their hands on iPad 2's and high school students can expect Macbook Air laptops. They didn't forget about the teachers either. Later this month, they'll receive brand-new iPad 2's and Macbook Pro computers. All of that sounds great, but how can the school district afford it?
A three-year lease of the technology would cost $350,000. The district only budgets about $50-75,000 a year for technology. He says they have some ideas on how to make up the rest.
"We are going to be saving money by purchasing fewer textbooks. We are going to be looking at digital textbooks," says Semingson. "We are hoping to attract some of our students who have been home-schooled or who have open-enrolled out of our district. If we could attract five students back into the district, then we're coming very, very close to that number."
Semingson says they have to adapt to the new age of learning.
"This is the way that students are learning. Back when I was a kid in school, if we needed to learn something, we went to the library," Semingson remembers. "We want to use the technology to help students learn in the way they're learning today."
The school district will be presenting more than 50 teachers with new iPad 2's and Macbook Pro computers on October 24. Apple will be in Strum to teach the teachers how to use the products November 22.
The school district is working out a plan where students may be able to keep their devices after graduating, if they pay for it. Otherwise, they'll have to return it to the school.