The Brainerd School District's Long-Range Planning Committee got a glimpse Wednesday of what's in store in regard to technology.
The committee has been looking at technology needs in the district as part of its long-range planning process and heard from Chuck VanDeWeghe, a technical representative from Microsoft.
VanDeWeghe said there is going to be an explosion of new devices, including tablet and pocket personal computers and e-books. He said some of the devices are voice-activated and can read handwriting.
Pocket books fit into the palm of a hand and have a connection to a keyboard and have the ability to play compact discs. VanDeWeghe said if every student had access and a computer some amazing things would happen in education.
The Microsoft representative said school districts should build smart and reliable technology. They also should have a personal network that would remove any barriers and preserve education by integrating technology into the curriculum.
"Technology is going to change the way teachers teach," said VanDeWeghe. "It is a whole new way of teaching and we have seen phenomenal success."
VanDeWeghe said integrating the technology into the curriculum will save a lot of time for the teachers. They are busy with grading papers and tests, have a lot of paperwork, hear excuses from students about not having their assignments done and talk to parents. He said this could all be reduced, allowing teachers more time to educate students.
Microsoft conducted a research study on laptops and found that laptop students consistently show deeper and more flexible uses of technology than the students who do not use a laptop. The students who use laptops are more confident in their computer skills on a variety of applications and use the computers for a wider range of tasks than the students who do not use the laptops.
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