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Wadsworth schools make push to boost tech use

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    Andrew Hill

    MG

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WADSWORTH — Wadsworth Schools is making efforts to get more technology into the hands of its students, Superintendent Andrew Hill said Friday.

Hill said the district’s five-year plan, which took effect in 2016, has an extensive technology component, with $500,000 allocated to infuse iPads and Chromebooks into its buildings.

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Andrew Hill

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“We have gotten to a point where we can purchase enough devices to really create a one-to-one environment here without exceeding the cost of what we had already budgeted for as part of that strategic plan.”

Hill said that nothing is finalized, and there is still work to be done on the initiative.

“We have had a committee that has been up and running that has been really working with this,” Hill said. “We have surveyed teachers; we are pretty close to trying to finalize more of the finite logistical details of what this would look like.”

Hill said when those details are finalized, district parents, guardians and community members will be told about the district’s next steps.

“In my mind, with the amount of devices that we already have infused with in our buildings that are being used on a daily basis by kids, I don’t really see what we are doing with this one-to-one as a huge philosophical shift on things,” Hill said.

Hill said that a drop in the price of the devices since the district’s five-year plan went into effect has led to the idea of getting even more technology into student’s hands.

“We don’t believe that technology in any way, shape or form replaces the work that our teachers do,” he said. “What we are trying to do is figure out ways to be able to get the technology into our students’ and teachers’ hands so that it can be used as a tool to supplement the good things they are already doing in the classroom.”

Hill said if approved by the board, the district is looking to purchase additional iPads for kindergarten through first grade and provide sets of Chromebooks for in-classroom use for grades two through six. Grades seven through 12 would be assigned Chromebooks that students could use at school and home.

Hill said while there might be isolated situations when a student is permitted to borrow a laptop from the district under specific circumstances, there is no program in place for students to check out laptops from the district on a regular basis.

“It is more of just making sure that the resources that are needed are there for our kids and for our teachers,” Hill said.

Hill said the district is currently working to finalize a plan to present to the board for approval within the next month.

Contact reporter Nathan Havenner at nhavenner@medina-gazette.com.
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