By Jeff Gallatin
School district officials will continue to calculate the best ways to ultimately find a way to make computers and electronic devices available to every student, while allowing the pupils and the district to utilize current resources.
Following the report of the school district’s Citizens Advisory Committee at the May 13 school board meeting, Bay Superintendent Clint Keener said the district is striving to meet the ideal standard.
“Ideally, the ratio is one computer or device to every student,” he said. “Right now we can’t do that, but we will continue to work toward that.”
While doing that, the district will continue to look at ways to let students use their own devices when they have them, as well as utilizing computer and electronic devices already available in district facilities.
“We will continue to explore the ways of best utilizing what we already have available in the district, as well as letting students use their own devices when it’s appropriate and it’s focused on education.”
Keener said concerns expressed by parents to the advisory committee about the use of electronic devices by students were well-taken.
“They wanted to make sure that everybody had access to the educational opportunities the devices can provide,” he said. “They want to make sure there’s a level playing field for all, which is good.”
Keener said the more practical concerns about the purchase of such devices also came through clearly.
“It’s a very legitimate concern to want to make sure that when you purchase an expensive piece of equipment for students that it’s going to be safe and protected from theft or potential damages,” he said.
Keener said the district also is working on the best ways to work the devices into the educational process.
“There are districts where they already are providing different types of devices to the students from the district,” he said. “As I said, that’s the ideal, which we’re not at yet. But we are working with the staff on finding the best ways to incorporate their use into the classroom and the educational work that is going on.”
Keener said the district is moving ahead with the individual classroom applications as well as larger overall use, such as the recently installed computer lab at Normandy School, which was paid for with funds from the district’s share of proceeds from Cleveland’s Horseshoe Casino. District officials have said it will be used for classes and testing in the district.
“We try to find as many ways as we can to incorporate the use of technology into the educational process,” he said. “It’s part of education and life now.”