School Board approves technology purchase

By on March 28, 2014

KANELAND—Kaneland students will soon have more technology at their fingertips.

The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted to 6-1 approve the purchase of student devices at a total of $225,000.

The objective of the purchase is to have a 3-to-1 ratio, which means there will be three students for every one device during the next school year.

Board member Tony Valente was the lone vote against the purchase.

“I don’t object to enhancing our technology needs,” Valente said. “There’s no specific plan to specifically use these devices in specific curricular ways.”

Valente said that he would like a tie to how the Common Core would be used with the computers.

Board member Peter Lopatin pointed out that the purchase is necessary in “today’s world,” while School Board Secretary Gale Pavlak said that she would like to see how the devices are going to be used in the classroom.

According to a report by Kaneland Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schuler, approximately 679 student devices would need to be purchased. Elementary school students would have 91 iPad minis and 205 Chromebooks. Harter Middle School students would have 147 Chromebooks. Kaneland High School students would have 236 Chromebooks.

The Kaneland School District’s mission is to “graduate all students college, career and community ready.” Schuler expanded on that idea in the report and noted that digital devices and resources need to be used to prepare students for those three mission areas.

“College readiness requires students to be good digital citizens, have basic skills in the use of documents and spreadsheets and the ability to complete effective search methods on the internet,” Schuler stated in the report. “Digital citizenship specifically includes appropriate use and choice of digital tools, as well as the ability to problem solve the use of new tools using previous knowledge.”

Board member Pedro Rivas labeled himself as an “IT individual.”

“I can appreciate the technology aspect,” Rivas said. “We’re going to have to do it sooner or later. And we’re here.”