A New Tool for Middle School Students
Exercising a desire to teach Middle School students how to use Office Suite including Excell, Word, and OneNote as a tool, the SSISD board voted Monday night to purchase 240 2-in-1 computer tablets for students in eight classes at Sulphur Springs Middle School. The board voted to spend $156,000 for the tablets to be used in the pilot program for the campus. This action by the board will complete phase two of a plan to purchase computers for SSISD students, according to Superintendent of Schools Mike Lamb. He said that with this step, Middle School students can do something that has never been done before.
“It’s not about just having technology for the sake of having technology,” stated Lamb. He said the tablets are a tool. “It’s like a kid having a ruler, a pencil, like a kid having a notebook.” Lamb said the students will be taught to use the tablets to “write research papers, look up things online, and use the note taking feature.” Hoping that students will learn to use the tablets to their full capacity, Lamb said he is aware there are concerns about Internet usage but there are risks in all learning.
Last year SSISD purchased more than 1,000 iPads to be used by students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades. Superintend of SSISD Mike Lamb told the board that those iPads are being used almost daily this year. Lamb said that ultimately, school administration would be asking for 1,000 of the 2-in-1 tablets to be used throughout the middle school by 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.
Twelve middle school teachers recently attended a conference to prepare for the use of the tablets in the classroom. Lamb says that the trained teachers are excited about the opportunity and that he hopes to capitalize on the excitement with the purchase of the tablets putting them into the hands of these teachers.