New Technology at Fresno Unified

April 17, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Fresno unified is continuing in its quest to bring learning into the 21st century. Educators said students today are more technology and information driven. Now the classroom is catching up to what many students already do at home.

Most kids today seem to be born with the ability to use computers. Fresno Unified's chief technology officer Kurt Madden said many are using technology before they even start school.

"The largest, fastest growing segment of internet users today are kids ages two to five."

Fifth grade teacher Patrick Marino said his students have more motivation to learn after the district issued nearly 5 thousand small laptops known as net books last fall.

"The engagement I'm seeing, the work these guys are doing, the discipline that I'm not dealing with because they are engaged is nothing short of amazing."

Teachers also have the ability to share and discuss student assignments with the class through interactive boards. So what do students like Chris Chavez think about it?

"I don't know it's just really cool."

Each school decides whether they want to spend money on net books, but by this fall, Madden said the district plans to provide wireless internet access to all schools.

"If we can get that access to kids in the classroom, they literally have access to the world's resources."

There is even a program that keeps projects like drawings of the solar system out of storage space in your home.

Students can now use a digital portfolio to store book reports, tests, and basically anything they've created in school on the computer.

Chavez said, "We take pictures and we send them to our website."

Madden said students can save the information for parents or to use it as a tool to get into college.

"When they graduate the goal is to give them a flash drive that has their 12-13 year at Fresno unified and all their work."

We asked if Chavez if someday old fashioned pencil and paper will be deleted? "It really helps my hand when I write a lot. I just have to type so that's quicker than writing."

If these students had their way, they choose a PC over pushing a pencil.

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