Sam Rayburn High School seniors Christopher Hernandez and Tony Estrella study for an exam in the computer lab.
A proposal in the November 4, 2014 bond election is calling for $12 million in technology funds that will connect students to 21st century learning and enhance computer software throughout Pasadena ISD.
The technology plan is part of a $175.5 million zero-tax-rate increase package that will be decided by voters. Upon approval, Pasadena ISD will equip all students in grades 5 through 12 with district issued mobile computer devices through the One-to-One laptop initiative. The proposal also includes plans to replace or upgrade computer hardware and software every five years to keep systems up to date and efficient.
The one-to-one laptop initiative provides students with opportunities for collaboration, communication, and the use of web tools and skills that are increasingly essential to live and work in today’s job market. The bond funds will be used to extend the district’s one-to-one program to purchase new take-home mini laptops for all students at secondary campuses.
“The one-to-one program allows the district to increase equity of access to educational technology while providing students with a personalized learning tool,” Technology Director Vickie Vallet said. “By integrating this technology throughout the day, it is capable of becoming a natural part of the student’s environment.”
The laptops, mainly consisting of Windows 8 Tablets, replace traditional textbooks and classroom supplies with small, lightweight personal computers that are ideal for basic Internet browsing and text input. In addition, the computer functions as an interactive digital textbook with touch screen capabilities.
In 2011, Pasadena ISD implemented the one-to-one pilot project at San Jacinto Intermediate School. The district has expanded the program so students at each intermediate campus have take-home laptops to use when they attend high school. The 2014 bond would allow a continuation of the one-to-one program throughout the secondary grades.
“Our goal is to enhance the traditional way of learning in Pasadena ISD to prepare students for the ever-changing digital world,” Vallet said. “Teachers and students will use this technology in learning experiences to develop higher-order skills needed for career and college readiness.”
Additional components of the technology bond will include upgrading the network infrastructure to increase the storage capacity and maintaining and installing up-to-date computer software to support student and teacher use of technology.