Schwarzenegger knows what he's doing," said Cynthia Saunders, principal of Lake Weir High School in Florida's Marion County Public Schools.
said that as the school tries to prepare its students for the 21st century, students must be proficient with technology--part of this means using digital textbooks.
"We no longer can teach as we were instructed and expect our students to learn in today's world.
By using laptops and having access to textbooks electronically, they will not need to tote books, and it will reduce costs as well," explained Saunders
When choosing the laptops, Marion County school district has standardized on Dell
computers since 2001, which Saunders
says provides operational efficiency as it relates to purchasing new systems, refreshing equipment, updating software, and maintaining hardware through the self maintainer program of Dell Services
Marion County uses Optiplex for Desktops, Latitudes for laptops, and 2100s for students.
The pilot group consisted of 25 mini's, 25 regular-sized laptops, and 25 Mac Computers.
"We were looking for a laptop that would reduce our costs by 50 percent, provide internet access, and leverage our campus-wide wireless system," said Saunders
Along with laptops, the school purchased computer carts to charge and safeguard computers.
The cost of both student laptops and the carts totaled approximately $30,000.
Saunders said the school chose the freshman English class for its pilot because the subject is assessed in March for the FCAT (Florida's Comprehensive Assessment Test).
The data would also be easy to collect and track, and "it's also very important to keep our ninth-graders engaged in learning so that they want to continue with classroom instruction and maintain a 2.0 GPA," said Saunders
"This is the grade level that if we lose them, it is hard for them to make it to graduation."
The main reason the school wants to switch to digital textbooks is a financial one, explained Saunders
Besides not having to buy new books, "it will help with replacement costs when books are lost or damaged."
said digital texts will help keep items fluid as well.
Saunders and the school believe the increase might be due to the new laptops and available resources.