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Booneville Schools Implements District-Wide 1-to-1 Initiative

Booneville School District in Mississippi has implemented Chromebooks and iPad Minis for all 1,300 K-12 students and 90 teachers, along with new wireless infrastructure to support the devices.

The small, rural district is part of a $1.2 million state-funded pilot project to implement innovative education technology in Mississippi schools. The goal of the project is to help schools in the state bridge the digital divide and help students develop the skills they will need in the workplace.

To support the large influx of mobile devices, the district implemented a hosted Wi-Fi solution from C Spire. The new network includes 116 wireless access points to provide coverage across all three of the district's schools. The network has enough density to support simultaneous connections for every student and teacher in every classroom, according to C Spire.

Students use their Chromebooks and iPads to access "Web-based resources and digital learning tools like digital textbooks, library e-databases, reverse learning podcasts, electronic submission of assignments, real-time lectures and mobile applications," according to a news release. Students in grades 3 through 12 are allowed to take their devices home with them for study, homework and research, and the district provided each child with a backpack to protect the devices. Younger students leave their devices at school at the end of the day.

According to district superintendent, Todd English, students and teachers have both welcomed the new technology. "When students are excited and motivated about learning and expanding their knowledge base, teachers are excited," he said in a prepared statement. "It's been particularly gratifying to see the response from some of our younger students."

English said the district is serving as a model for other schools and that the technology initiative will help other districts follow in Booneville's footsteps. "We're excited about our district serving as a laboratory for innovation and best practices for other schools and we're more than willing to share our experiences to help others gain the same advantage," he said in a prepared statement.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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