Midway, TX — Earlier this month, Midway ISD was awarded a 5.4 million dollar bond for next year, which includes funds for educational technology. So, to start preparing now, school officials are getting students' input, as well as teachers' input, on which devices will be most useful.
"What we're trying to do is prepare kids for a 21st century work environment, also a 21st century college environment," said Midway ISD Superintendent George Kazanas.
Dozens of Midway ISD students and teachers are sampling various computing devices to see which one best suits their learning needs.
"They'll be able to tell us what things work and what things aren't as user-friendly. For example, we're looking at tablets, like your Apple product, iPad, as well as a Windows-based platform. And, then also we're looking at laptops," said Kazanas.
Today, each student was allowed about twenty minutes to explore and rate each device. Ultimately, this information will be a large factor in deciding what product makes it into the classrooms.
"I think it will be very helpful to us and a really great motivator," said Midway High School junior, Jacob Sowder. Sowder says he's impressed with the Dell Tablet, thus far.
Next year, every one of the 7,000 plus students in the district will be given a computing device to use as a part of Midway ISD's "1:1 initiative".
"In all their classes, as well as when they go to college, they're going to have to know how to find information. And, this will help them be prepared," said Geometry teacher Laura Veselka.
The district is also looking at mapping out a replacement schedule to prepare funding options ahead of time for when equipment becomes outdated or unusable.