As part of the District's Strategic Plan and Target areas, the Board of Education has identified this as a top priority. Mark Slagle, Technology Director, said “This wave of purchases is part of the district's 5 year strategic plan for providing high quality technology equipment to our students and staff in a way that allows teachers and students to have every day access to the computers and services they need.”
Instead of buying cheaper laptops and ending up stuck with obsolete models in a few years along with large ongoing replacement expenses, Goshen Local Schools opted for a leased purchase agreement that allows the district to lease MacBook Airs on an agreement that calls for a 3 year lease-to-own financing package from Apple at an interest rate of 0%. This will allow us to purchase enough MacBook Airs to cover every core content classroom and spread the cost over three years. All the while getting the best laptop on the market for our students to use.
The key to the funding for our technology plan was the decision to purchase quality equipment that will last and require less maintenance. “If the laptops are going to be used by students and staff 5 days a week, then we need to make them an important priority in the budget,” said Todd Shinkle, Treasurer. “By purchasing quality equipment we do not have to find a large sum of money to buy new ones every three to four years.”
Technology has become an indispensable need for what happens every day in classrooms. In addition to the new computers, teachers and students will be using Google classroom to facilitate the learning process. Teachers can track student responses on daily journal entries or small quizzes as they come in. Students can submit answers for multiple choice or true and false questions and the program will automatically grade their answers. On writing assignments, teachers can offer feedback directly into a student’s essay, even communicating with the student in real-time – digitally.
District Curriculum Director, Theresa Scherzinger stated “Teachers who are driving how the Macbooks are used in their classrooms can develop assignments together, making changes or offering revisions directly into a shared document. But it’s about what the technology does for the students,” adding that the students will often find ways to use a program to enhance their learning experiences dramatically.
The marriage of curriculum, technology, and innovative teaching is another way that Goshen Local Schools is working to ensure that students are prepared for college, the workplace and the future.