Tech plan could provide students with Chromebooks next year

Laura Harper, News Editor

Baldwin has implemented improved wireless access in the building, and is exploring the possibility of providing every high school student with a Chromebook as early as next school year.

Students may have noticed new white boxes on the ceilings of their classrooms and in common places throughout the building. These boxes are called wireless access points, or WAPs, and are intended to improve student and teacher access to reliable, high-speed Internet.

“The purpose of this upgrade is to meet both the current and future instructional needs of students and teachers,” Technology Director Dr. Janeen Peretin said.

The school board has also discussed the potential implementation of a “1-to-1” program, in which each student would be provided with a personal Chromebook to use in school and at home.

The Information and Instructional Technology Department hopes to be able to purchase the Chromebooks this spring so they will be ready for student use beginning in August, Peretin said.

“Providing students with their own personal devices to use both at school and at home will allow for increased opportunities for collaboration and the personalization of learning,” Peretin said.

These developments are the result of a four-year technology plan presented to the school board last spring. The first included improved wireless access at the high school, while the plan for year two calls for the same improvements to be made at the middle school, and the 1-to-1 program to begin at the high school.

“We must be able to provide Baldwin students with the experiences and tools necessary to be competitive with their peers on a global scale,” Peretin said.

English teacher Daniel Harrold said technology in schools prepares students for the technological opportunities that will be available to them for the rest of their lives.

“Students live with technology all the time,” Harrold said.

Some seniors said they were disappointed that they would be missing out, since they would graduate before a Chromebooks program could begin.

“I wish I had the opportunity to experience the new technology while in high school,” senior Marissa Stenglein said.

Underclassmen said they were optimistic about the many advantages that the Chromebooks could provide throughout their remaining years of high school.

“It could benefit students who don’t have very good handwriting by allowing them to better organize their notes,” sophomore Luke Leng said.

Freshman Sam Marsteller said students would greatly benefit from the implementation of a 1-to-1 program.

“Having their own Chromebooks will introduce students to more technological opportunities,” Marsteller said.