District 55 to begin implementation of tech plan soon

BLACKFOOT — High school teachers in Blackfoot will soon receive iPads to use in the classroom as part of the district's technology plan to implement the "Students Come First" legislation.
But before they can receive the new technology, teachers will need to submit a plan to the school district regarding how they plan to use the technology in their classroom.
"We want the teachers to have a plan to improve their instruction," Technology Committee member Brian Kress said.
In addition, five iPads each will be distributed to all other schools for teachers to utilize.
To start, the district will use four classroom sets of iPod Touches at the high school. The sets will be mobile and available to teachers to use in their classroom.
Before moving to one-to-one technology for students, Kress said the district will need to develop a solid policy regarding the use of the devices and will need to determine if students will be able to take the devices home.
"We really believe that those tablet-type devices is where technology is going," Kress said, adding that the available of applications, affordable textbooks and podcasts made the Apple technology appealing. He said the devices may also be used to meet the online class requirements set forth in "Students Come First."
Kress said the new devices should arrive by March and they are currently working to train teachers to use the devices and to ensure the wireless Internet infrastructure within the district can tolerate the load required by the new technology.
The iPads and iPod Touches are just the first phase of the technology plan, which will likely be rolled out in several phases, Kress said.