Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 22, 2014

Laptop program to enhance education program at Pekin

By VICKI TILLIS, Ledger news editor | Aug 23, 2010
Pekin High School senior Andrew Burthlow receives his laptop computer from Pekin librarian Carol Jones. -VICKI TILLIS/Ledger photo

PACKWOOD — Pekin High School students will be on an educational journey during the upcoming school year as a new 1-1 computer program gets under way.

Participating ninth- through 12th-grade students were issued a Macintosh laptop computer Monday evening at the school before attending an orientation session on its use and care.

Superintendent John Dotson said the students will have the laptops 24-7 throughout the school year to enhance their education.

Dotson explained the laptops will help students acquire the skills they need to succeed academically, personally and professionally in the years to come. He pointed out today’s students are digital natives. To engage and help them become successful 21st century learners and consumers, teaching is changing from lecture-based style to student-centered creating and doing, and the laptop computers will allow them access to educational software and databases after the normal school day.

Joe Crozier, chief administrator of the Great Prairie Area Education Agency, pointed out a recent study shows technology helps keep students in school and helps student achievement go up.

Dotson said if a parent doesn’t want their child to have the responsibility of a computer, they are not forced to take one, and the student can use a computer at school.

Students and parents were required to purchase insurance for their laptop and to sign a usage agreement.

Dotson reminded students and parents the laptops are property of the school district, and “use is a privilege. If they’re abused, they can and will be taken away … and you’ll use the old paper and pencil method to do your work. … The student code of conduct also applies in the virtual world.”

While a student is using the laptop at school, school officials have the means to check his or her screen, “and if you’re doing things you’re not supposed to, it can be shut down and taken away,” said Dotson, while also cautioning parents to monitor their children at home to make sure rules are being followed.

For the complete article, see the Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010, printed edition of The Fairfield Ledger.

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