Lions hear about new technology at school

Friday, August 31, 2012
Justin Smith, IT, Myra Graham, Superintendent, David Rutledge, assistant superintendent, and Mac McCaa, IT, show the MacBook, MacBook Airs and iPads the students at Trumann Schools will have use of for the school year. (DT Photo/Anthony Cossey)

David Rutledge, assistant superintendent at Trumann Schools, was the guest speaker of the Trumann Lions Club Wednesday, Aug. 22. He discussed the new technology that will be used this coming school year.

Rutledge said when the school first decided to do this program, they were just going to do one of the schools. "Deciding which school was a hard decision, so we decided to do it school-wide. Trumann is the only school doing the 1:1 technology implementation in K-12. We are also implementing it in our Wee Cat program," Rutledge said.

Rutledge explained the breakdown of the iPads and MacBooks for the students. Pre-K will rotate time on a iPad, K-2 will have use of an iPad in class but may not take them home. Grades 3-8 will be issued an 11" MacBook Air while grades 9-12 will receive a 13" MacBook Air. Grades 3-4 will have use only in the classroom while grades 5-12 may take theirs home with parents permission.

"We want to make our kids college and career ready. We know not all are college material but feel they need the computer technology for future jobs," Rutledge added.

Rutledge said for the kids that don't have internet access at home, the school library will extend hours a couple days a week, opening an hour early and staying open an hour late for the kids to have access to internet. Some businesses in town have hot spots and some churches will let the kids come and use internet access. Ritter Communications has stepped in to help, and this will be announced at the roll-out of computers starting Sept. 4.

A short film on Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee known as the Blade Runner, who just completed in the Olympics, was shown to the group. Having both legs amputated since he was 11 months old, Pistorius said it's not about the technology, but what's attached to the technology. The same applies for the kids, it's not about the technology, but who can use it.

The MacBooks will have special software that cannot be removed which, if lost or stolen, the tech guys can initiate. When the MacBook is used to access internet, the screen will go black and it will broadcast, Help, I'm a stolen MacBook. A signal will be sent to the tech guys as to the location of the MacBook.

Rutledge hopes the kids will take pride in their computers. They will issued the same computer each year they attend Trumann Schools. If a computer is damaged, the computers are insured and the school will fix the first time. If more damage is incurred, the student will be required to pay a $50 insurance fee to be able to take the computer off campus. The kids may work off the fee with the janitorial and maintenance staff after school. If they refuse to pay the fee, or the computer is not fixable, they will automatically become a day user only.

Justin Smith and Mac McCaa are the IT guys and are trained to do repair work on the Apple products.

Rutledge closed by saying, "The technology is a tool, but the teachers are the talent."

The roll-out of computers will start Sept. 4. A schedule of the days of distribution is available online at www.trumannwildcat.com.

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