Pennsylvania schools making technological upgrades
Several school districts throughout western Pennsylvania are taking a modern approach to education this year, replacing physical textbooks and supplies with digital technology.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Shanksville-Stonycreek School District in Somerset County will provide laptop computers to 398 students this year, as it has done for the past 10 years. The district is looking to reduce its reliance on paper textbooks, which, the news provider notes, could save money in the long run.
Meanwhile, the Hempfield Area School District down the road in Westmoreland County is also toying with the idea of replacing textbooks with digital devices, such as e-readers and tablet computers. According to the Tribune-Review, the district is interested in using only digital textbooks within the next six to seven years.
"We're not there yet, because we don't have the tablets to offer the students," Hempfield assistant superintendent Barbara Marin tells the news provider. "But I do see us moving to that, maybe sooner at the secondary level than at the elementary level."
School districts around the country rely on grants from government and charitable organizations to make technological upgrades. For example, through grants provided by such programs as Race to the Top and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Next Generation Learning Challenges, many schools can purchase equipment to enhance the educational experience.