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The future is an open book for East Coloma-Nelson students

August 26, 2018

EAST COLOMA – East Coloma-Nelson School District is on track to put a computer in the hands of each student by the 2020-21 school year.

The initiative, approved by the school board in July, will cost about $50,000, most of which will be paid by the district’s technology fund.

The one-to-one program – one student, one computer – will allow the district to convert its curriculum from paper to digital, giving teachers a better ability to tailor assignments to fit the individual needs of students, and allowing parents to be more involved in the learning process by giving them better access to lesson plans. It’s also part of the school’s effort to better prepare students for high school.

“Rock Falls High School is implementing Google technology, and we want them to be familiar and prepared when they make that switch,” Superintendent Chris Lensing said.

East Coloma-Nelson issued Chromebooks to third- and sixth-graders this year. That process will be repeated every year, which means it will be the 2020-21 school year before the first of its students take them to high school.

“We’re trying to make our students more competitive with 21st century-learning skills, not only to familiarize them with technology but also to deepen our education through Google’s learning management system,” Lensing said.

The start-up cost was about $20,000 for 70 Chromebooks, licensing, insurance and infrastructure to run the program. It will drop to $15,000 a year, mostly to pay for 70 new Chromebooks and their licensing.

Invenergy, which owns and operates the Nelson Energy Center, is helping out. It has donated $10,000 over the past 2 years, and will continue to support the initiative, Lensing added.

“This was kind of a big deal for our district, he said.

“A lot of planning went into this, and we will continue implementing this technology year after year.”