EGHS Technology D-Day Set For Nov. 2
That's the day the wireless network goes live and new computers are booted up.
Since the new school library opened last winter, one question has troubled East Greenwich High School students and teachers alike: when will the new computers come? The new library may be beautiful, well designed, and comfortable, but, as one student said, other than the librarian’s computer, “the most advanced technology in there is the electric lights.”
All that is set to change in November.
According to Carlos Zambrano, the school district’s technical director, the library will soon have Macintosh computers at all the larger round tables for student use. There will also be a Smart Board and 50 Mac laptops. The laptops will be available for students and teachers to check out from the library.
Actually, the computers are already on hand. They have not been set up, pending installation of the wireless Internet.
“I could give you a laptop next week, but all you could do is word processing,” said Zambrano.
The school is still in the process of setting up policies and filters for the wireless Internet. Internet access will be available almost immediately after Nov. 2, but initially filtering will be very strict. As the school has time to refine its Internet policies, the idea is the system will get better at differentiating between educational sites and those that genuinely need to be blocked. There will also be stricter filters on student computers than on teacher computers.
Once wireless Internet is available, it will be possible for the school to allow students to bring their own devices to use. Meanwhile, the School Committee is considering a 1:1 ratio for computers and students, having the district supply computers or tablets for every high school student.
According to East Greenwich High School teacher Nicholas Rath, allowing students to bring in their own computers would be less expensive than having the school provide them. The inconsistency of such a program, however, makes things challenging for teachers.
Many students may prefer to use their own computers rather than those issued by the school. But one student pointed out, the school would “have to figure it out for people who don’t have computers.”
Another student compared it to the school’s new cell phone policy, saying, “It would be all right [for students to be allowed to bring in their own devices] but then more people would be expected to have them, like with the phones. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a laptop or a phone.”
Alice Palmer is a senior at East Greenwich High School.