RPS 205 to spend millions on new classroom SMARTboards

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ROCKFORD (WREX) – In today’s classrooms learning is truly at students’ fingertips, but to bring the newest technology to the finger tips of Rockford students the district says it’s time for an upgrade.

“Between advances in software and not really wanting to repair what is there, because there’s no value there, it’s not worth repairing,” RPS 205 Educational Technology Coordinator Susan Uram said.

Next fall, 375 classrooms in RPS will get new SMARTboards.

At the new Cherry Valley Elementary, Donene Sand’s first grade class already has one of the new SMARTboards and is using the new program to get every student online and learning.

“There are more opportunities for engaging students, instead of just the one student who’s up at the board, now multiple students can come up or everyone can be interacting with the devices, too,” Sand said.

But the new tech comes at a big cost.

RPS 205 says the $1.7 million its spending on these 375 SMARTboards only upgrades around 30 percent of the district’s classrooms.

“It’s going to take us almost four years to get everything fresh and done, so this is step one,” Uram said.

The first step in a major technology overhaul at Rockford schools that’s set to cost millions.

“It was worth the financial commitment, because we know that this is a tool that teachers use on a daily basis, so leaving them to boards that are hit or miss or are going to be cost ineffective to fix, then it made sense to go with the new,” Uram said.

New SMARTboards the district hopes pays off with new learning opportunities for students.

RPS 205 is paying for the new SMARTboards with money from it’s technology services budget.

Taylor Utzig

Taylor Utzig

Reporter

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