By Jill Richardson
- Kuna Melba News Reporter -
Melba and Kuna School Districts are both among the first one-third of Idaho schools to receive one-to-one devices (laptops or iPads) for each student, teacher and principal in 2012 through the Students Come First program.
The Melba Board of Education at their June 10 regular meeting discussed information the district recently received about the program.
According to the Idaho State Department of Education, one of the goals of the Students Come First legislation is to ensure all students have equal access to the best educational opportunities, no matter where they live, by implementing a one-to-one ratio of mobile computing devices to students in grades 9-12 within the next four years.
Under the new legislation, the State Department of Education will contract for the provision of mobile computing devices for those students, as well as for the teachers and principals who serve them.
Beginning in 2012, the Students Come First program will deploy mobile computing devices for every high school teacher in the first one-third of districts.
Beginning in 2013, SCF will deploy a mobile computing device for high school students within that first one-third of districts.
These devices will include all the necessary tech support, maintenance and security as well as the wireless network within the schools.
The plan states that within three years, each student will have his own computer in the classroom.
School districts will have the flexibility to determine when students are given the computers and how they are used in the classrooms.
Districts will develop local usage policies that will decide whether the students can take the devices home or only use them in the classroom.
The state will also fund teacher training and curriculum integration for those teachers in the program.
Other changes in classroom environment include having textbooks replaced with e-books that can be accessed with the new devices and allow for easier updating of textbook versions as needed.
The manufacturer of these devices has not yet been determined.
Principal Todd Shumway said Melba High School officials are looking closely at the existing Maine program for guidance and ideas to best implement their program.
Ideas such as allowing students to personalize computers have been seen to improve care and handling of the devices.