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updated: 8/4/2014 8:36 PM

District 93 set to complete 1:1 technology roll-out

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By Safiya Merchant
smerchant@dailyherald.com

Carol Stream Elementary District 93 is moving forward in creating its classrooms of the future.

This school year will mark the first time every student in every grade level in District 93 will be able to use a technological device provided by the district in their classes.

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"So we will be completely 1:1," Superintendent Bill Shields said.

Students in pre-K through second grade will use iPads to enhance their learning, while kids in grades three through eight will use MacBook Air laptops.

Parents of students in grades four through eight can pay a fee to allow their kids to take the devices home.

Teachers also have been issued devices as part of the initiative.

The district launched the program at some grade levels in late 2012 and has incorporated more grade levels over time.

This is the first time all grade levels in every District 93 school will have the devices to use as an educational tool, with enough devices so each student can use one without sharing.

Unlike the iPads, the MacBook Airs are expected to be used by the same child for a number of years.

All the initiative's devices are leased.

Since the initiative began, averaging the costs over a three-year period, the district is spending about $1 million a year, according to Assistant Superintendent for Business Services David Hill.

Hill said officials expect costs to go down as the district moves forward.

Shields said it's important for students to have the devices as they prepare for the future.

Ryan McPherrin, the district's community relations coordinator, said the technology "enables you to teach to different styles of learning."

For instance, if kids read through a textbook, he said, "there might be a video that pops up that can kind of supplement their learning."

"We don't want kids to be sitting there, being passive, being read to or told what they have to learn," Shields said. "We want those kids to be out there excited, interactive, collaborative. So those things are ... what the technology can provide. A textbook can't provide that."

Shields said the devices also will help students move at their own pace, explore topics on their own, do more research and be more creative.

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