Dist. 118 spends $544,000 on 1,600 laptops

  • More Wauconda Unit District 118 students will have access to Chromebook laptop computers, like this one, when classes resume in late summer.

      More Wauconda Unit District 118 students will have access to Chromebook laptop computers, like this one, when classes resume in late summer. Gilbert R. Boucher II/gboucher@ dailyherald.com

 
 
Updated 6/20/2015 7:02 AM

Wauconda Unit District 118 officials are spending an estimated $544,000 to buy more computers for students to use in their classrooms.

The order consists of nearly 1,600 Chromebook computers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

About 1,140 of the devices are headed to elementary and middle school classrooms. The purchase will allow every third- through eighth-grade student to have a laptop computer for classroom use, District 118 Superintendent Dan Coles said.

An additional 450 Chromebooks will be delivered to Wauconda High School. They will be part of mobile labs that teachers can check out for classroom activities, Coles said.

Chromebooks are thin, lightweight laptops that primarily use Internet-based programs instead of traditional computer software. They're also typically less expensive than other laptops and tablets.

Unlike the growing number of one-to-one computer initiatives at other suburban districts, Wauconda students won't be allowed to take the computers home with them.

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"We desire to do a one-to-one issue to students," Coles said. "However, we do not have a revenue stream yet for that initiative."

Public and private schools in Gurnee, Mundelein and Palatine are among those with one-to-one initiatives. High schools in Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Libertyville and Vernon Hills are expanding one-to-one initiatives in the fall.

Earlier this month, Lake Villa Elementary District 41 announced plans to purchase Chromebooks for all third- through eighth-graders for use in class, at home or anywhere else they travel.

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