New Pilot Program to be Discussed for Harrisonburg City Schools

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Tuesday's school board meeting in Harrisonburg will include discussion about a new pilot program that would bring more technology to the classrooms.

City school employees said they'd be starting small, but hope that a program to mix iPads, laptops and other technology would grow.

A pilot program that's currently in the proposed budget would bring anywhere from 100 to 150 new laptops, iPads or e-books.

Campbell said it's a way for students to collaborate and learn in a different way.

That could include writing a book with software and sharing it with someone in another country or talking to an expert using skype.

The technology wouldn't be specifically assigned to a classroom or certain grade levels.

Instead, teachers must apply for laptops or other electronics with specific lessons in mind.

Because we want to do it well. Just putting devices in a classroom is not going to make a difference in learning so it's...the teacher having the vision of what these devices might expand their instruction in the classroom. So we're looking at all grade levels, all subject areas," Campbell said.

This is separate from the one on one laptop initiative that is already in place.

School employees are hoping to do anywhere from 5 to ten classrooms.

They want to have applications for teachers ready in May, so the laptops or E-books could be purchased by the end of the school year.

At Tueday's meeting, there will also be a public hearing on next year's school budget.

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