Saturday, March 3, 2012

State receives requests from 174 schools for mobile computing devices, including Melba and Kuna

More than 170 high schools representing about 84 percent of Idaho’s high school students signed up to participate in the first one-third of schools receiving laptops in the state’s one-to-one initiative in 2013.
Under the state’s Students Come First education reform laws, the state is setting aside $9 million a year for technology in grades K-12 and mandating a one-to-one ratio of students and teachers to laptops in every public high school.
Teachers, principals and other certified staff in every high school will receive laptop devices in fall 2012 as well as a year of professional development on how to integrate this technology in the classroom curriculum. The state is funding $4 million a year in professional development.
Based on a recommendation of a statewide technology task force, the state will deploy laptop devices to high schools statewide over the next three years, beginning in fall 2013. In the 2013-2014 school year, one-third of Idaho’s high schools will be equipped with laptop devices and the necessary software, maintenance, security and support to reach a one-to-one ratio in the school. By 2015, the state will complete this one-to-one ratio in every Idaho high school.
The state will cover the costs of these devices as well as the repair, maintenance, software and security.
The Department received 99 letters of interest representing 174 high schools and nearly 68,000 students statewide. This makes up an estimated 84 percent of Idaho’s high school students, which is far more than the one-third of students the state will be able to deploy to beginning in 2013.
The Department will develop a rubric to determine which schools are most ready to benefit and should participate in the first deployment of one-to-one devices for students in 2013. The Department anticipates selecting schools by the end of the current school year.
Both Kuna and Melba school districts submitted letters requesting to be in the first wave of districts to receive the devices in 2013. Both districts submitted letters representing their main high schools as well as Initial Point High School in Kuna and the alternative high school in Melba.

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