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.


 


Graves Installed As 7th GPS Head

"My name is Autumn Joy Adkins Graves, and I am the seventh head of Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and I proudly proclaim – I will lead like a girl!"  With those words at the conclusion of her installation as GPS’s Head of School, the audience of friends, family, faculty, trustees, parents, alumnae, and students rose to their feet and offered their heartfelt ... (click for more)

Dalton State Magazine: A Glimpse Into Campus Life

Jacob Southern turned to two things to help him cope with struggles growing up: fishing and God. After becoming a student at Dalton State, he added conservation biology to that list.    Set to graduate in December, mr. Southern is making great strides in undergraduate research, all while finding himself as a young adult. His story is told in the latest edition of the ... (click for more)

Bradley, 24, Charged In Death Of Boy, 3; Child Had Numerous Injuries After Left With Boyfriend; Mother Was In Workhouse

Justin Dale Bradley has been charged with criminal homicide in the death of a three-year-old child, who was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday and later died. Police said Dakota James Arndt had numerous injuries over his body. Authorities said Bradley, 24, is the boyfriend of the child's mother, Brianna Kwekel, who was in the Workhouse at the time. Ms. Kwekel was serving 48 ... (click for more)

Helen Burns Sharp Asks Recovery Of Legal Fees In Successful Black Creek TIF Lawsuit

Helen Burns Sharp, citizen activist who sued to try to stop a $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and won, is seeking to have her legal expenses paid by the city and the developers. Ms. Sharp said in a court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka are $74,427 thus far. Chancellor Frank Brown ruled in favor of Ms. Sharp, saying the Sunshine ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)

Insurance Burden Should Not Fall On The Teachers

I have attended several Hamilton County School Board meetings over the past few months, including the recent special called meeting" to vote on teacher insurance changes. First, let me say I am very impressed with Superintendent Rick Smith and his staff at the Central Office.  Mr. Smith is a very dedicated public servant, working hard to provide services to our community ... (click for more)