County Schools Working To Close Technology Gap

Thursday, December 20, 2012

County School officials said Thursday they are working on several fronts to close the technology gap, but face funding and other issues.

The school board was told it would take $1 million to provide enough bandwidth to support a "one-on-one" - one tablet or IPad for each student.

Patty Kinsey, IT director, said the county school system wants to get to "three-on-one" but is not there yet.

But Supt. Rick Smith said teachers and administrators still must learn how to most effectively use all the rapidly developing new technologies. He said, "It would be a mistake to dump 42,000 IPads on the school system right now."

However, he said the school system at Huntsville, Ala., has invested in an IPad for every student.

The board was told that online assessments of students is coming so the school system needs enough devices for that. Ms. Kinsey said officials were first told that IPads could not be used for such testing,  but now has been told that they could.

Supt. Smith said school policies and even state laws may need to be changed to deal with the new technology. For example, he said schools have policies on IPhones at school. But he said IPhones can have many educational uses.

The board was also told that online assessments are already proving effective for helping tell strengths and weaknesses of students on various subjects.

Board member Rhonda Thurman said with such assessments due to technology the school system may be able to trim some staff who have been involved in those duties.

She also cautioned about sinking large amounts of money into certain technologies that quickly may be outmoded.

And she said with the advance of online learning "we may wind up with some empty school buildings."

Supt. Smith said businesses have shown a strong interest in helping the schools prepare for the new technologies. And he said various grant opportunities are being explored.

To view the Technology Presentation by Ms. Kinsey to the Board of Education, click here.


Learning Blade Announces "Hack Attack" Computer Science Mission

Chattanooga-based Thinking Media’s Learning Blade announced the new “Hack Attack” Computer Science Mission to over 400 attending the Arkansas Public School Resource Center (APSRC) Annual Conference in Hot Springs this week. Arkansas has led the nation by the passage of Computer Science Education and Jobs Act of 2015, which provides computer coding classes to all Arkansas high ... (click for more)

Baylor Elects 2016-17 Honor Council

Members of Baylor's 101st Honor Council have been elected for the 2016-17 school year.  They are Trey Freeman '18, Annie Dethero '17, Alison Anderson '17, Lauren King '17, David Thompson '17, Ashton Jenne '17, Kristopher Kennedy '19, Connor Duffy '20, Chase Radpour '20, Jonyca Jiao '19, Sarah Talley '18, Matthew Davis '18, Alex Robinson '19 and Mats Pokela '18.  ... (click for more)

Domestic Assault Charge Dismissed Against Bobby Stone In Case Involving Mayor's Top Advisor; Stone Says Berke Had Inappropriate Relationship With His Wife; Says Berke And Fletcher Conspired To Arrest Him; Lacie Stone Says Charges Completely False

A charge of domestic assault was dismissed Friday morning against Bobby Stone in a case involving a top advisor to Mayor Andy Berke.  Afterward, Mr. Stone told reporters that the mayor had an inappropriate relationship with his wife, Lacie Stone. He also charged that Mayor Berke and Police Chief Fred Fletcher conspired to arrest him. Mr. Stone is expected to file ... (click for more)

Christopher Padgett Taken Into Custody

A Chattanooga man who went on the lam after cutting off his ankle monitor and failing to show up for the third day of his felony murder trial is back in custody. Christopher Padgett was arrested by Chattanooga Police in the 3200 block of South Street at 12:55 a.m.  He was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Hamilton County Jail for booking. ... (click for more)

Bobby Stone, Is It Really A Win?

It brought a smile to my face this morning when I saw where the case was thrown out of court against Mr. Stone and the domestic violence charge.  I have supported his cause from the beginning, but I do feel heartbreak because his personal life had to be tossed out there for all of us to see.   I truly hope and pray things turn around for him and his wife, while I feel ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Kelly Could Win It

I am neither a sleuth nor an odds maker but I’d say there is about a one-in-three chance that Interim Hamilton County Department of Education Superintendent Kirk Kelly could become the permanent superintendent of our public schools next Thursday. I am assured something squirrelly is happening on our newly-seated school board. It has been seven months since the last superintendent ... (click for more)