HANCOCK COUNTY, OH (Toledo News Now) – Vanlue Schools have decided to give each of their seventh- and eighth-grade students their own laptop as part of a technology implementation plan that began five years ago.
Their plan began with adding smart boards to the classrooms and allowing students to bring cell phones to class. Starting in January, Vanlue will provide every seventh- and eighth-grader a laptop.
"Technology is their way of learning," said Vanlue Principal Traci Conley. "And as a school, we need to provide the way that's out there. I think we're going in the right direction."
Because of Vanlue's smaller enrollment, they are more able to provide laptops for their student body than many larger districts.
"I think it is an advantage, since we are so small, that we can provide such technology to our students," Conley said.
The Lenovo touchpads will stay with the students throughout high school. New laptops will be issued to next year's sophomores and incoming seventh-graders until all upper class students have a laptop.
Officials are hoping the laptops not only act as a tool for homework but to open the students to new ways of learning, as well.
"It is very difficult to motivate students when they're reading through a normal textbook paragraph by paragraph, looking at text and pictures," said Nick Rider, Vanlue's technology coordinator. "But when you can bring the material alive, online through videos, through interactive activities – that's what we're trying to build here at Vanlue. We're trying to create that true blended environment, where they go home and the learning continues."