BUCKHANNON — Members of the Upshur Schools Technology Integration Specialists (TIS) team presented their 10-year Technology Innovation Plan for Students and Staff (TIPSS) at the last regular Upshur County Board of Education meeting. Miranda Skidmore, Danielle Rexroad and Quinten Oldaker presented on behalf of the TIS team, while their other member James Trivolette was not present.
This plan will include a one-to-one technology program with Apple. The goal is for each student to receive an iPad/tablet. For example, Buckhannon-Upshur High School reportedly has 1,046 students, therefore they would receive 1,046 iPads. According to the rough draft, there will be training for administration, teachers and students from trained Apple professionals. There will also be a SWAT (Students Who Assist with Technology) organized at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School and B-UHS to assist staff members with technology. Classroom tools, such as the large form factor presentation screens and computers, will eventually be replaced with wireless projection interactivity utilizing a MacBook computer, as well as an iPad. It was noted that this technology is not intended to replace the teacher at all, but rather an added tool for students to learn.
If this plan is successful, the iPads given to the students will eventually be a textbook replacement. The purchase of these iPads and partnership with Apple will reportedly not be cost-heavy for Upshur County at all, given the cost of iPads are only a couple of hundred dollars, compared to thousand dollars laptops, as well as the replacement and repair policies through Apple Care, explained BOE President Tammy Samples, TIS members, and Mr. Carver.
There has been a lot of hard work and action steps to get to this point, Samples stated. Director of Federal Programs Jody Johnson expressed she is very excited for this upgrade and stated, “The potential it has is amazing.”