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D135 Approves $2.8M Technology Purchase

Orland Dist. 135 students will get "techy" at beginning of 2014-15 school year with new equipment, apps and software.

A Centennial School student uses a new laptop during his math class. Credit: Dist. 135
A Centennial School student uses a new laptop during his math class. Credit: Dist. 135

Orland Park students will soon be using MacBooks and iPads as part of an exciing new district technology initiative designed to bolster 21st century learning and curriculum.

The Dist. 135 Board of Education approved a $2.8 million purchase of one-to-one classroom technology at the March 10 board meeting. Students in grades 6 through 8 will be provided with their own MacBook Airs, and all third-grade students will receive iPad Airs. Students in kindergarten, second, fourth and fifth grades will share technology carts.

The purchase is the first step of a five year plan that utilizes one-to-one use of technology and includes professional development for teachers, software and curricular apps. The devices will come into play at the start of the 2014-15 school year.

“This is an important initiative for the board,” board president Joe LaMargo said in a news release. “We wanted to assure students had the tools they need as we move towards integrating curriculum and technology.”

The $2.8 million purchase is the culmination a technology task force committee first formed by the D135 board last October, charged with identifying needs of the district and developing a plan to incorporate technology with curriculum.

Chaired by board members Sandra Kulak and Michael Maratea, the task force included administrators, teachers and parents. The task force broke into two groups that concentrated their efforts in five areas:

·      devices;

·      apps and programs;

·      collaboration;

·      professional development and community involvement;

·      communications.

 

A full copy of the findings and recommendations can be found at the District web site, www.orland135.org.


Source: Orland District 135

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