Students in three Whitley County school district classrooms will be getting new tablet computers to assist them with their class work thanks to a grant that was recently awarded to the school district.
Whitley County is one of only two school districts in the nation that were selected to receive the South East/South Central Educational Coop Qualcomm Grant.
“We are really excited about it. We can get some technological issues resolved,” Superintendent Scott Paul noted.
Two classrooms at Whitley County Middle School and one classroom at Whitley County High School will receive a total of 90 tablet computers.
Another 30 tablet computers will be sent to the University of Kentucky’s Education Department. 30 of the university’s pre-service teachers will use the tablet computers to collaborate with the three teachers in the Whitley County school district that are getting the tablet computers for their classrooms, said Deputy Superintendent Paula Trickett.
“Part of the grant is a device with its own data plan,” noted Whitley County Chief Information Officer Kevin Anderson. “Ideally the students will be taking these devices home with them to have Internet on the device that doesn’t cost them a thing to do their school work.”
At the end of the grant, the school district will get to keep the tablet computers.
The tablet computers will be similar to i-Pads.
Anderson said that one of the grant requirements is that the tablet computers have a snapdragon processor, which means the tablets must run an Android-based operating system.
Anderson said that he has narrowed the choices down to one of two different types of tablet computers.
“We can use these devices to access Google Classroom,” he added. “It basically gives teachers instant feedback from the students. Regardless of the platform, we will be able to tie this into our curriculum the same we are doing with other devices.”
The board also heard Consolidated School Improvement Plans and Consolidated District Improvement Plans during Thursday’s meeting.
Representatives from every school and various department heads set up displays in the lobby of the school board’s central office.
After the meeting started, board members and those in attendance visited the various displays, most of which were staffed by school principals, to learn about what was happening at each school and in each department.
“We appreciate you all for all the work you have done this year. It is nice to be sitting here 13th in the state. You all are the reason for that,” Paul noted.
Board member Delmar Mahan, who has served on the school board for 26 years, added that he has never been more proud of the school district for what it has achieved.
“It has been an amazing year,” Mahan added.