WIUM Tristates Public Radio

West Prairie Gets Ready for New Technology

Mar 16, 2012

The West Prairie School District will begin incorporating wireless devices into classes at the high school next year.

Superintendent Jonathan Heerboth said the district is studying the best way approach the change.

He said one class at the high school has been testing the “one-on-one” technology. The students preferred devices that use a regular keyboard over tablet devices that use a keyboard on a touchscreen He said the students found they do so much typing the regular keyboards were much easier to use.

Heerboth said West Prairie teachers have visited two other districts that use the technology in vastly different ways.

Those experiences forced the board to update its technology plan.

He said, “It forces us to plan and budget and do the work that we would probably be doing anyway and at the same time satisfy state and federal requirements so we can have access to our e-rate money.”

The funding will pay for 75% of the district's cost for Internet access and related communication expenses such as telephone costs.

Heerboth said the district will continue its evaluation. He expects the district will decide which devices to use and how to integrate them into the curriculum during the summer.

It will roll out the new technology at the high school next fall.

The district has been improving its network and wireless technology in preparation for next year. The district's buildings are connected to a very fast fiber-optic network.