Textbooks a thing of the past for McAllen ISD?
Sat, 23 Jul 2011 00:24:05 GMT —
As technology advances, school are learning how to keep up.
McAllen ISD is one of the Rio Grande Valley school districts taking the classroom to a new level.
As more and more kids are born with an iPad on hand, schools are figuring out how to keep up with the constant flow of new information especially in science, and it looks like textbooks will soon become a thing of the past.
School districts across Texas like McAllen ISD are including supplemental online material for students to learn the latest in science.
"The state has allotted funds to help districts support the software, so we have to go through an adoption process here at the district," said Secondary Science Coordinator Monica Kauffman. "It's to supplement what's going on in the classroom and to supplement the textbooks we already have."
But first, these educators have to figure out how they'll incorporate it in class.
"Do we have enough devices for students to access the items online? We first initially have to purchase a lot of the infrastructure to be able to run something like this," said Kauffman.
That's one concern that teachers like Bianca Garza have.
"We have concerns that we are in the classroom and the server's not working or maybe not all the students have access, so as a teacher we need to have a Plan B or a Plan C," she said.
Right now, these educators are looking through different options.
One option they said is to find a vendor that allows teachers to download the software and project it on a screen.
"So the kids all could see it on the projected screen. Maybe even pairing up two or three students to a laptop computer," said Garza.
This year, they start with baby steps.
They said they'll introduce the online material in class and keep textbooks but slowly ditch the old way of learning.
Something that'll definitely free up space.
The book room is just one of the places McAllen High School stores their over 13,000 books over the summer.
The rest of the books are stored in the auditorium.
McAllen ISD said it takes about 15 people each year a month to process new books, and when those books aren't returned at the end of the year it costs a pretty penny.
"Over $160,000 dollars just two years ago across the entire district," said Mark May with McAllen ISD.
McAllen ISD calculates in the end, they'll end up saving going online.
McAllen schools start class August 22nd.
Educators hope to have this finalized by then, so that they can start incorporating the online material.