Putting the latest technology at students fingertips
Forget overhead projectors and televisions, Park City High School students will see something entirely different in their new classrooms.
School district technician Andy Lee said TV’s are being removed from classrooms and projectors will be mounted in the ceilings that will be capable of displaying whatever is on the teacher’s computer. They will also be able to play educational videos and DVDs, with improved sound quality.
The new technology is also user friendly.
"The easier we can make these things, the more likely the teachers are to use them," Lee said.
There are a handful of computer labs that are still in the planning stages including a math lab. While the school will offer a 50/50 mix of Apple’s and PC’s, some departments lean heavily towards one or the other.
"The math department has gone the PC route because more math programs can be run on PC’s," IT Manager Joe Stout said.
Lee said teachers will all get new desktop computers and the majority of them will be Macs.
He reported that while nearly 50 computers will be upgraded this summer, most new computers will not be added until shortly before students move back into classrooms.
Principal Hilary Hays explained they would like to make sure the new computers go directly in new classrooms without being put in storage. She said they will most likely be ordered 30 days before moving into the new classrooms.
Lee added that the longer a person waits, the more they will get for their money in the technology world.
"It’s definitely a moving target kind of thing," he said.
Both Hays and Stout showed interest in the new Apple computers that can run both Windows and the Macintosh operating system.
Stout said they are waiting to see if the machines become more user-friendly over the next year. Right now the technology is in its early stages, where both operating systems can be run but it is difficult to select which one you would like to use.
"The software is not quite there yet," Stout said.
A mock up of what will be available in each classroom is being created by Stout. He will present this to faculty members to see if it will meet their needs and collect feedback before any of the new computers are ordered, something he estimates will take place next summer.
Most of what will be purchased is hardware since many departments are happy with the software that is already in place.
"We have really great software in every department," Hays said.
Before making any selections members from the high school technology committee including Hays, Stout and Lee toured different schools to learn what technology was being used.
"We have a great technology committee at the high school. It has a member from every academic department," Hays said of the group that has been meeting for about a year now.
The information they gathered will help the entire committee make a final selection next year.
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