Lakeview Board of Education approves pilot tech program


By Mike Taylor • Last Updated 9:45 am on Tuesday, November 12, 2013

 

LAKEVIEW —  Members of the Lakeview Community Schools Board of Education voted Monday to outfit six classrooms with technology for a pilot program involving laptops, projection equipment, tablets, and possibly student-owned electronic devices.

Lakeview Middle School Principal Tim Erspamer and several teachers told board members about their recent trip to several schools in Spring Lake that already have a similar program in place.

“We went to schools kindergarten through high school,” Erspamer said. “We wanted to see what it looks like in a classroom where every student has an electronic device to work on.”

Erspamer liked what he saw. The iPads, tablets and laptops greatly simplified many classroom activities, he said, and allowed students to receive instruction from teachers even while away from the classroom. Even students who had received only initial instruction on operating the devices were able to easily work on them.

Many Spring Lake students not only receive assignments via e-device, but also complete and return assignments electronically. According to Erspamer, the savings in paper and printing alone is significant.

At the high school level, many students have opted to use their own personal devices, since they’re already familiar with their own platform.

In Lakeview, administrators are hoping to outfit each classroom at a cost of $400 or less per device. To keep the price point low, tablets are being considered rather than laptops. The school could easily recoup the initial investment by purchasing electronic editions of textbooks in the future, rather than traditional paper textbooks.

Superintendent Kyle Hamlin noted that much of the “teaching” on the use of the devices would be on the part of staff.

“It’s going to be us having to learn some new things,” he said. “The kids already get it.”

Board members also discussed the progress at Bright Start Elementary School, which is currently undergoing extensive renovations and expansion. Contractors say the work is proceeding according to schedule, despite inclement weather and a couple other unexpected complications.

Among these complications is one contractor that was forced to back out of the project. The next lowest bidder was brought in to handle the work, but this adds $27,930 to the overall cost of the project.

Also, contractors have discovered that much of the soil around the project is not suitable for building upon and will have to be replaced.

At present, contractors are installing underground utilities and have already completed footing and foundations for the gymnasium and classrooms.

For more information on the work being done at Bright Start, see the story on Page 3 of today’s Daily News.

In other business, board members heard from Lakeview student Cameron Bunker, who performed several improvements to the school’s athletic field as part of his Eagle Scout project. With the help of friends and family, Bunker fixed and painted the fence around the field, as well as painting foul poles and scoreboard poles. Bunker’s crew also water sealed the benches and steps up to the press box.

Bunker paid for materials for the improvements with donations from the community.

“I’d like to thank the friends and family for their help,” Bunker said. “Thanks to the board for providing me the opportunity to do this to get ready for my Eagle.”

In total, Bunker raised $1,250 for the project.

The school board next meets on Nov. 9.

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