Green Bay district spends $2.5M on 5K new laptops

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) – The Green Bay School District plans to spend $2.5 million to buy 5,000 laptops for students in four grade levels.

The Chromebook computer will be used in math and language-arts classes for grades 6, 7, 9 and 10. They’ll also replace older equipment in some elementary schools, Press-Gazette Media reported.

This isn’t the first time the district has invested heavily in technology. Officials bought about 900 smaller laptops in 2012 for students in sixth and ninth grade classes.

The latest purchase frees the smaller laptops for checkout by students who don’t have computers at home.

Administrators say the new technology will be useful as the district continues to use the Common Core State Standards, a nationwide educational guideline released in 2010 and adopted by Wisconsin.

Students will use computers to access materials for math and language-arts content that fits with the new standards, administrators said. They’ll be able to use the new laptops in school but won’t be allowed to take them home.

Teachers will use a Google application for educators that allows students to access documents from home computers or smartphones. It also teachers to monitor how much time students spend working on a particular assignment.

“It’s a different way of working together and collaborate,” said Diane Doersch, the district’s chief technology officer. “While the purchase of devices is important, we still say the best ‘app’ is the teacher. Good solid teaching is still the norm with curriculum that is powered by technology.”

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