When classes get underway in Thief River, teachers will be handing out over 2,000 new computers, one for each student. …new, Macintosh laptops for high school students, iPads for middle school students and mini-iPads for students K through four.
Laine Larson, Superintendent: "This is the direction we believe our kids need so that when they go to college, when they go on to future jobs, they can be competitive in the work market and in the future."
Jennicca Leier, Student: "I'm elicited. I think it will be fun to have one, instead of doing all the paper stuff and trying to remember all the papers."
Student: "What does he teach…. English?"
Every teacher has their own web page, where they can accept assignments and even answer questions from students in real time, outside of regular school hours.
Tim Vagle, Tech Coordinator: "The real beauty is a teacher can be providing feedback to that document in real time, even if the kid is absent or in another location."
The school district is paying for all this by passing a bond issue 4-years ago and setting aside $500,000 a year to purchase computers for all students, including the Kindergarten class.
Tim Vagle: "We have 2-year olds that grab an iPad and they rock out on it. They just start doing things."
Since the computers are owned by the school district, technicians will be able to monitor all use of those computers. However, school officials say they will not be monitoring the computers, when they're being used at the student's homes.