A spark of technology inspires students at an Arizona school district MANASSAS, VA
—For many students, the introduction to new technologies is a sought-after experience, and oftentimes can be considered a segue to future success and preparation for the global market. Today, many are given the opportunity to use modern technologies.
Teachers and students across Sunnyside Unified School District in Tucson, AZ, are quickly discovering the excitement of integrating computing technologies to the curriculum. Throughout the district, seven schools have EarthWalk High-Efficiency (HE) computer labs with more than 2,700 Lenovo laptops deployed—and more labs to be launched in the near future. These laptops are stored and powered by EarthWalk’s MiniMax series mobile computer labs and maximize student-user hours when paired with the SideKick PowerPack. Many of these students, who had never experienced personal ownership of a laptop before, showed excitement and enthusiasm.
“I’ve seen the eyes of these students go wide open and their faces light up with excitement as they picked up the laptops. You notice that some of these students possess a genuine interest and a natural gift for technology,” explained Javier Baca, Chief Technology Officer of the district. “In one classroom, one of the students is already emerging as the local classroom technician and going around helping his peers.”
Along with students, teachers also appreciate the features of the mobile computer lab system largely due to its organization, 1:1 accessibility, security, power, green-natured efficiency, and the A/C brick that allows kids to take the laptops home. “The teachers appreciate the carts in that they act as their charging stations” said Assistant Director of Technology Mary Veres. “They appreciate not having a mess of cables all over the place. Also, there is the security and safety factor.”
Students at Sunnyside Unified School are provided with the one-to-one computing program, allowing students to take their laptops home with constant access to a wide array of applications and content. This program encourages students to broaden their learning experience and aids in the development of vital computing skills. The requirements to obtain a computer and participate in the program are as follows: parents and students must both must undergo the process of earning digital license, where the participant will learn to use a computer and be rated on three levels of competency (Basic, Internet, and Software), along with essential knowledge of internet safety and basic care. This program follows the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for fair technology use.
Javier and Mary hope that these programs will further facilitate interest in technology for the students of the school district. The overall objective is that the deployment of these labs will ensure accessibility to computers not otherwise possible, pique interest in the field of information technology, and lead to higher student involvement and an increase in student retention within the Sunnyside District. By providing these students with the tools and power to innovate, the future is bright for the tech-savvy students at Sunnyside Unified School District. ”
You can understand that for a lot of these students who have never had a computer, it’s an exciting thing.”
About the Sunnyside Unified School District’s “The Digital Advantage”