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School Board Approves Technology Plan

March 25, 2013, 10:33 PM by Kelly Bartnick

School Board Approves Technology Plan

Sioux Falls schools are going wireless. The school board unanimous approved a new technology plan to put Chromebooks or iPads in every student’s hands over the next two years.

The “1:1 Technology Initiative” is a plan once thought of as something you’d only see in the classroom of the future. But, starting next school year the 17,000 computers will be phased in. Chromebooks will go to grades three to 12, while grades K-2 will receive iPads.

Administrators say the Chrome books have a keyboard, making it easier for students to work on. They are intended to go home with high school students.

“We will also have it in the plan so when they attach to the Internet. They will go through a content filter within the school district, so they cannot get to sites that they couldn't get to at school," Assessment, technology and Information services director Bob Jensen said.

“As we go through more curriculum adoptions, you'll be seeing fewer and fewer textbooks. But the Elementary and Middle School plan is they would not be taking those machines home because they would be used like a class set at school,” Superintendent Pam Homan told the school board.

The plan approved Monday night goes further than just putting the PC's in students hands. The proposal also will educate teachers on ways to integrate new ideas into their daily lesson plans, using all the technology as much as possible.

“The 1:1 initiative must focus on academic achievement, student engagement, and customized learning,” Jensen said.

The plan will cost more than $7.2 million over two years. The district budgeted for the cost in its upcoming budget technology plan.

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