School district gives every student personal technology for learning

Soon, every student in the school district will have their very own Chromebook or iPad.

MECOSTA COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- A Mecosta County school is insuring each student has the same access to technology.

With a nearly million-dollar grant, Morley Stanwood is insuring the student-to-technology ratio is one-to-one.

Soon, every student in the school district will have their very own Chromebook or iPad.

“Not only will it enhance their learning I think it will change their motivation and desire, it gives them a step up it gives them an advantage when they leave here, whether they go to college, straight to work, a trade school,” said superintendent, Roger Cole.

The money comes from a $900,000 grant from the Thompson Foundation.

“If students see technology as just a natural part of their day, it’s going to make a world of difference at how they view it,” said Betty Tramper, a 5th grade teacher at the elementary school. “It’s not just something you play games on or take pictures or make phone calls that it can help in so many different ways.”

“With the Chromebooks, you can take a field trip and never leave the classroom, you can study current research, and text books are getting old and science is always changing just like technology,” said high school biology teacher, Vern Smith.

Right now, teachers and students share a handful of carts with Chromebooks for classroom activities and lessons, something that can make lesson plans difficult for teachers.

“Sometimes lessons are delayed, and stalled, or pushed off because they don’t have the tools they need,” Cole explained.

“We’ve had assignments that were pushed back because we didn’t have Chromebooks because another class was using them,” said 10th grader, Lauren McCamon. “I don’t have a computer at home so it would be nice to be able to finish assignments.”

The superintendent says kindergartners and first graders will have iPad's, second to twelfth graders will have Chromebooks.

Teachers say this could also cater to each students learning process and pace.

“We can challenge the upper level kids, the middle level kids, and lower level kids can hopefully make progress and benefit from this,” said Smith.

“It’s part of their life whether someone as old as me likes it or not, it’s not going away, not only is it not going away, they connect with it,” Cole said.

The grant will also allow teachers to receive professional development training to familiarize themselves with the technology and lesson plans.

School officials hope each student will have their own Chromebook or iPad by the next school year.

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