technology initiative provides 11,000 computers to students

Sep. 27—While the pandemic fast tracked the daily use of laptops in local schools, the county school system has propelled their technology plan into a broader, long-term aim.

In a concerted effort to be engaged in emerging technologies, Caldwell County Schools now has enough computers for each student in the county as a part of their one-to-one computing initiative, according to a press release from Caldwell County Schools.

Libby Brown, the Caldwell County School public information officer, said 4,000 of the computers were bought in the last year.

The school district received federal and state emergency funding and generous donations from the local faith-based community to address technology needs in schools. With a total of 11,000 Chromebooks, laptops for teachers, Kajeets (Wi-Fi hotspots) and webcams, every student has the opportunity to enhance study through technology at school or while off campus, the statement said.

“It’s a process getting these out,” said Cody Greene, technology director. “We currently have some in stock, but the bulk of them have been deployed to schools for student usage.”

Students are able to use the computers during in-person instruction during the school day, as well as at home depending on the assignment or learning conditions.

Dawn Henline, West Caldwell High School assistant principal, said the laptops are a great resource because, “students are able to take the devices home and bring them back to school so that instruction continues no matter if the student is able to physically be at school or not.

The devices allow students to access the internet, digital course materials, and educational resources. Students and/or their parents must sign a technology use agreement prior to receiving a Chromebook, and all devices will be collected before the school year ends to be thoroughly sanitized and redistributed to students for the following year, the statement said.

Donald Phipps, superintendent of Caldwell County Schools said the deployment of Chromebooks is one just one phase of the district-wide evolving technology plan.

“Because of COVID conditions, our efforts have been intensified to provide electronic devices for students and staff. We are better prepared to not only enhance learning at school through technology but also to keep our students connected online during any type of remote learning,” Phipps said.

Reporter Candice Simmons can be reached at (828)610-8721

Reporter Candice Simmons can be reached at (828)610-8721