ROYSE CITY – Royse City ISD Middle School students will soon be using over 100 Intel Classmate Touch Netbooks in their science classes thanks to a $100,000 technology grant that the State of Texas just awarded to Curriculum Director Janie Pope who applied for the highly competitive funding.
The small laptop computers “will take these classrooms into the 21st century,” said RCISD Superintendent Kevin Worthy, who challenged Pope to apply for the grant and thanked her for her hard work.
“I challenged Curriculum Director Janie Pope to apply for this highly competitive technology grant. She not only accepted the challenge, she put together an exciting program that has resulted in being awarded a $100,000 technology grant.”
Pope explained that the Netbooks will be checked out to students like library books are. Parents and students will be required to sign a user agreement before they can obtain one. The computers will be ordered and issued to students as soon as teachers are trained to use them. The company supporting the program will come back throughout the years to assist as necessary. Full implementation should take just a few months.
“As 8th grade is typically a turning point for students, teachers will be able to set up learning centers to augment the science curriculum,” she said. “When we receive the Netbooks the programs will already be loaded and the unit ready go.”
She said the science class was selected because it already has a digital form of curriculum.
Pope explained that she hopes the pilot program will grow and also expand to Royse City High School.
“We hope this is just the beginning. The program was written for 125 students, which will be implemented at the Middle School but we are optimistically anticipating that this program will grow and expand to the High School.”
“Unspent IMA funds may allow us to mirror this program at the High School,” she added. “The current plan should limit the cost of maintenance to $20 per year per student.
The technology lending grant program was established by the 82nd Texas Legislature to award funds to school districts and open-enrollment charter schools to implement or enhance an existing technology lending program to loan students the equipment necessary to access and use electronic instructional materials.
By J.J. Smith