TORONTO - The city school district is obtaining new technology tools geared for the coming school year and the anticipated move to a new district building for grades sixth through 12th in 2013.
The new school will include wireless Internet connections, new computers and mobile units, and much of the high tech equipment is being purchased now, according to Rob Suffoletta, district technology coordinator, and Maureen Taggart, district communications coordinator and Toronto High School principal.
"This year we purchased 30 iPad IIs over the summer, along with a charging station on wheels," said Suffoletta. "We also invested in a mobile laptop computer, also on wheels. It makes it more flexible for teachers.
NEW TECH – Students Rebecca Zeigler, left, and Andrea McDiffitt pose with two of 30 iPad IIs the city school district recently invested in. The district is upgrading and investing in new technology in anticipation of its new district building, to be ready in the fall of 2013. -- Mark Miller
"These are state-of-the-art computers, and and there are tons of apps now that the teachers are starting to use," he continued. "There's also a lot of interactive software available. The kids love it."
Suffoletta said obtaining the new computers gives both district buildings a higher student-to-computer ratio.
"At Karaffa the ratio is about five to one," he said. "At the high school it's about six to one."
All online computers are filtered to prevent access to questionable websites, Suffoletta said.
"We actually use the Ohio Mid-Eastern Regional Education Service Agency (as Internet provider), and the agency provides a filter to block certain content," he said.
"We're making purchases now to get ready for the opening of the building," said Taggart. "We'll be able to take the technology to the classrooms. That's why we have the mobile carts."
Wireless Internet access at the new district building will be much improved, Taggart said.
"Right now we have some (wireless) hot spots in the (high school), but the new school will have wireless access throughout the building," she said, adding all classrooms will have access to the wireless signal. "Each classroom will be fully equipped with the new technology."
The new district building also will include interactive white boards, projectors, multi-media centers and microphones for teachers to use, according to Suffoletta.
"Each teacher will have a microphone and sound system, as well as in the (new building's) cafetorium," he said. "We plan to continue to purchase interactive white boards that will be transferable to the new building."