Granby " Budget allows for technology improvements at East Grand
September 17, 2008
Equipped with 43 SMART Boards, 54 projectors, document cameras, more than 600 computers and wireless Internet, East Grand School District employees say they’re headed in the right direction.
East Grand Technology Director Kery Harrelson gave a presentation to the Board of Education on Tuesday about the improvements the mill levy has allowed within the past three years. This is the last year $300,000 has been budgeted for new technology.
Among the major purchases, the district acquired a Lightspeed System to filter Internet content in compliance with the Child Information Protection Act.
“We did a lot of infrastructure upgrades,” he said. “We updated a lot of computers … We got the middle school (East Grand Middle) back to where it needed to go. We got tons of software.
In addition, a wireless system was installed at Middle Park High School.
“Anybody at the high school can get the Internet, which is also filtered with the Lightspeed; it filters for content, so that kids aren’t going to get on MySpace,” he said.
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“We replaced all the servers in all the buildings with the mill money because they were all really old.”
Training staff also is in the budget.
About 90 percent of the staff now has a laptop, so they can take their work home instead of staying after school or coming in on the weekends.
Teachers can also give presentations with assistance from their SMART Boards, an interactive white board.
“We didn’t just go in and put a SmartBoard on the teachers wall,” Harrelson said. “The teacher had to apply for it. Tell me what they were going to do with it. How it’s going to be used. How it’s going to make their kids smarter ” because the bottom line is, if it doesn’t make the kids smarter, then why spend the money?”
When Harrelson started at the school district seven years ago, there were a few years when the district had “zero funding for technology.”
In his third year the district received $30,000 to purchase seven computers before the mill levy passed.
“We have basically in the past two years kind of got caught up,” Harrelson said.
“We’ve actually come a long ways in a short time … A lot of teachers have got a taste of what they can do.”
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