Wake County halfway through distributing laptops, tablets to students – WNCN

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Wake County is about halfway done distributing some 52,000 laptops and tablets to students.

The School Board’s Student Achievement Committee was updated Monday night on the program, and what’s left to do.

Wake County School’s Three to One program aims to have one laptop or tablet for every three students in the system.

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CBS North Carolina went to Sanderson High School in Raleigh to see some of the new devices at work.  One of the ways Natalie MacPherson’s English class uses their new laptops is to review for a test.

“Overall the engagement has, if not increased, maintained as much as a teacher could hope for in a classroom,” said MacPherson.

In November, MacPherson was given 12 laptops that stay in her classroom.

Because Sanderson High also participates in the Bring Your Own Device program, every student is involved in the review with some kind of technology. Using this much tech in a classroom requires some training for teachers.

“They go through a course that takes about three hours on the short end and much longer if you are taking your time and really looking through every piece,” said Marlo Gaddis, Senior Director of Instructional Technology and Library Media Services for Wake County Schools.

“It’s always a challenge for teachers to ensure that students are using their devices carefully and appropriately. So it’s very much up to the instructor to circulate around the room and ensure that students are doing what they need to do,” said MacPherson.

The laptops have been rolled out to all high schools and elementary support models in Wake County.

Middle schools are getting their laptops now and this fall tablets will start going to kindergarten classes. Both devices have been kid tested and approved.

“We went to seven different middle schools and seven different high schools across the county and had the kids effectively bang the tires, see what they thought of it, gave their input on a variety of topics,” said Gaddis.

The school system plans to have all devices in the classroom by this time next year. They are being paid for by a bond with the county.

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