Chrome in the Classroom Propels Productive Learning

SPRINGDALE, AR--Thanks to a multi-million dollar grant, lesson plans in Springdale schools are changing in a big way.

Ashley Kirby teaches third grade at Thurman G. Smith Elementary School in Springdale. Students there are sitting behind computer screens.

Kirby said, "It makes my job even more exciting because they are excited. They have technology right at their fingertips that they can use and just find a ton of great information. For example right now we're researching the solar system and different planets."

From books to chrome books, the new technology is all thanks to a more than 25-million dollar federal grant. District communications director, Rick Schaeffer said chrome books are breaking down barriers.

Schaeffer said, "It's one-on-one technology so every student will have access to a chrome book or a mini iPad. That's just the direction of education right now and it's really the direction of our society. When you are dealing with a diverse population like Springdale, there are challenges that some of the other districts don't face but that's our number one goal is enhanced student achievement."

Kirby believes her kids are taking control of their education, setting up for the future with their fingertips. "I'm more of a facilitator, helping them determine the answers to their questions. They love it and they look forward to working on the laptops. They love researching and it's just an added benefit because they are being exposed to non-fiction text. This is awesome because it's preparing them for college."

According to the district, each student will have a computer by fall of 2014.

Thanks to the grant, there are also other projects in the works. Rick Schaeffer said the district is expanding its Pre-K program by 20 classes next year.

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