Students equipped for future with hardware and new programs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 21, 2007

As technology becomes a growing part of enhancing educational experience, area schools are bringing more technology into the classrooms.

According to Interim Superintendent Scott Collier, Linden High School is set to distribute approximately 40 laptops to juniors and seniors in the advanced placement program at Linden High School this week.

The laptops were purchased with capital funds given to the system by the state. Each student and parent is required to sign a form holding them responsible should something happen to the laptop during their use.

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Tiffany Stephens, who teaches Math at LHS, said students will be allowed to use the laptops in all of their classrooms.

When asked if these new computers and the access to wireless Internet in the classrooms could cause a problem, Collier said he is confident students will not abuse the technology.

Collier said each class is structured by the teacher, so there will be no free time for students to surf the Internet for pleasure.

Each classroom at Linden High School has also been equipped with projectors, document cameras and personal response systems, which are all integrated into the lessons taught each day.

In the Demopolis City Schools System, which is significantly larger than the Linden City School System by a margin of approximately 2,000 students, there are not laptops for each advanced placement student, but each student has access to a significant amount of technology in their schools.

Sherry Feller, Technology Coordinator for Demopolis City Schools, said one of this year&8217;s biggest advances includes a new fiber optics cable, which supports wireless Internet for three of the four schools. For the last several years, the system has consistently upgraded its Internet capacity.

As far as laptops go, the schools have laptop carts containing approximately 20 laptops, which can be checked out for use in the classroom by any teacher.

Another source of income Feller uses to upgrade the technology each year comes from grants awarded from the Demopolis City Schools Foundation, she said.

When asked how students and teachers use the technology on a regular basis Feller said, &8220;It is now a required part of the curriculum for the teachers to make use of the equipment.&8221;

As with other schools in the area, Demopolis City Schools have a state-provided Internet filter which blocks inappropriate sites and some other non-academic or research site such as They also have an acceptable use policy sheet students are required to sign stating their compliance with the school&8217;s Internet restrictions.

Feller said eventually she would like to work on a one-on-one system where one grade at a time will have access to laptops, but that is something in the future.

Some recent additions to the school technology programs include putting the Accelerated Reader and Accelerated Math programs online for students to use. They have also upgraded their servers so teachers can access their information at home.