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Lakeview officials talk one-to-one technology the past year

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Shell Creek Elementary School Chromebooks Oct. 2021

Shell Creek Elementary School students use laptops for special activities. Lakeview Community Schools was able to purchase Chromebooks and iPads using several grants.

Lakeview Community Schools has achieved a one-to-one technology ratio during the last year and while there are significant upsides, the progress has come with some challenges.

Having a one-to-one technology ratio means that a school has one computer, tablet and similar device for each of its students.

In a Thursday email to the Telegram, Lakeview Superintendent Aaron Plas confirmed that the district is one-to-one for K-12 as of the current school year, thanks to several grants.

"This initiative has shifted the tools available for our teachers and allowed the learning environment to become more student-centered," Plas said in the email.

At the Lakeview Board of Education's meeting on Monday evening, a group of teachers gave an update on one-to-one technology in the district. Overall, Board President Keith Runge said, they have been pleased with the results of having more computers and tablets.

"They can get quizzes and tests on the computer and the kids reply right away," Runge said. "Right after the test, the teacher can tell what areas the students had trouble with … and that way they know, before they go home and correct the papers, what spots need more attention."

Runge added that students are able to apply an existing enthusiasm for technology while learning school subjects.

At the meeting, Runge said, the school board pointed out the importance of still maintaining penmanship skills and doing some work on paper and using classroom whiteboards.

Quizlet vocab review

Lakeview Community Schools elementary school students use Chromebooks to do vocabulary review using Quizlet live. Computers and tablets allow students to apply their love for technology to school lessons.

"We don't want to lose sight of penmanship and teaching everybody to write by doing some stuff on paper," Runge said. "And the teachers said they were covering all the bases."

Runge also said that students in the same grade may be at different ability levels when it comes to using technology, so it's important for different teaching methods to account for that skill diversity.

"That's one of the biggest challenges for schools, anymore," Runge said. "... We have a group of kids that started preschool at 2- or 3-years-old and the parents worked with them the whole time, and we also have students that didn't have all the same opportunities that are trying to catch up."

Plas said the schools work to bring students up to the same ability level.

"We utilize small group intervention work to meet students at their learning level whether that be in reading, math or science," Plas said. "Technology is similar in that kids come to school with different levels of technology skills based on their home environment or previous experiences. That is when the school would work with the student to ensure they are brought up to speed on the utilization of technology and the different applications associated with it to help their education."

After all, technology skills have become important life skills.

"Technology is a tool in the educational environment that we believe will help push our students forward both for those that aspire to go to a postsecondary school and those entering the workforce," Plas said.

Touchscreen Chromebooks virtual lab

Lakeview Community Schools elementary school students work on a virtual lab using laptops in class. Lakeview is now a one-to-one school district.

Runge echoed that point.

"Even in farming, there's so much tied to the internet," Runge said. "... It (also) helps juniors and seniors get ready for college so that, once they get there, they know what to expect."

Molly Hunter is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at molly.hunter@lee.net.

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