By Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer
A three-year technology plan was approved by the Swanville School Board at its regular meeting June 12. Technology Coordinator and Dean of Students Sheryl Johnson presented the plan to the board.
A survey was made of Swanville School staff and the results were used to formulate the plan, which goes into effect July 1.
Technology purchases during the first year will include 15 iMac desktop computers to update the elementary computer lab.
Twenty-five iPads will be purchased for staff, along with three days of Apple professional development and training.
“We will be setting aside two days in August for the teachers to receive training on the new items,” said Swanville Supt. Gene Harthan. “Another training day will be used in November or December, once they have been using the iPads for a while.”
The total purchase price from Apple will be $33,435. Not included in that are cases for the iPads, which will cost $1,000. The cases, which will be the same as the cases used by the Little Falls School District, will be purchased separately.
“We realize we have to keep moving forward with technology, but want to make sure we have a good plan in place,” said Harthan. “We want to make sure the staff has enough training with the technology.”
The following year, the plan allows for the purchase of iPads for students in grades 9-12, and a mobile cart of 30 iPads for use in elementary classrooms.
One of the items mentioned in the survey is a desire to have interactive white boards for all teachers.
“Every elementary classroom has one now, whereas there are only two in the high school,” Harthan said. “There is no timeline in place for purchasing those.”
Staff will also be sharing their individual skills and strengths during in service sessions as “mini-experts” in various areas.
“We have teachers who are very knowledgeable in certain specialties such as Google docs or interactive white boards, and they can share their experience with the other staff,” said Harthan.
“I am excited that we’re continuing to move forward with technology and that the Board supports that,” said Johnson. “And we’re doing it the right way by training our teachers first and letting them have time to familiarize themselves with the technology and the possibilities of it.”