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Frank Ohl looks at tech future

March 8, 2012
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

Frank Ohl Intermediate School is in the process of revamping its web page and trying to add things beneficial to the needs of both parents and students. Part of that plan was to ask parents for their opinions.

According to teacher Jeff Swavel, who also serves on the 21st Century Learning Team, the goal was to give parents input into what they would like to see on the school's website.

"We wanted to know where we are as a building and where we should be heading," Swavel said.

Article Photos

Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town crier
For Frank Ohl students Cameron Medovich and Ethan Kalosky, it was time for a high five on Monday after they were notified they were the two winners in a special drawing for Nook Touches.

He said the survey results were in as of Monday morning and a remarkable 25 percent of parents responded. The results showed that more than 90 percent of parents visit the website at least once a week to keep up to date on what is happening at the school. The survey also revealed that 76 percent of the students had one or more hand-held devices that would allow them to access the Internet. That fact presented a new challenge to the way schools use technology in the classroom.

"We were looking at getting funds to provide hand-held devices for Internet-based studies," Swavel said. "This survey changes everything if the students already have and are using these devices.

Swavel said there are a lot of good hand-held products on the market such as the Apple iPad, Kindle Fire, Galaxy Tab and Nook. The problem at present is that the district doesn't permit those devices in the schools.

"We may have to change our policies," Swavel said.

He said in moving toward the future of education, the hand-held devices are going to play a key role. Students will be able to get instant access to their lessons. The use of the devices, since so many already have them, won't be a big drain of school funds. He said only those who can't afford such devices will have to have some provision to supply them.

At least two students won't have top worry. As part of the survey, when a parent sent it in online, their child's name was entered into a drawing for one of two new Barnes and Noble Nook Touches. On Monday afternoon, fourth-grader Cameron Medovich and fifth-grader Ethan Kalosky were called to the office where they were each presented with their new devices. When the district changes the policy and the classroom starts using Internet-based programs, the two young men will be ready to go.



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