Mobile Computing

Alabama District Nears Complete Rollout of 1-to-1 Program

Alexander City Schools is nearing the end of a two-year rollout of a 1-to-1 program that will eventually see a computer in the hands of each of its 3,400 students.

After the Alexander City Education Foundation agreed in 2013 to help fund the project, students in grades 10-12 received iPads in January 2014. The following fall, students in grade 9 were added.

This year, the program was expanded to give students in grades 3-8 Chromebooks and the program will wrap up next fall when preK through grade 2 students will receive their devices.

In most cases, they will be devices that students can take home with them. District Superintendent Darrell Cooper said that, even in the cases where some families may not have Internet access, students will be able to download the materials they need from school to do their homework at home using their Chromebooks and iPads.

Cooper said the 1-to-1 program was one of the pledges he made to the community when he was hired a few years ago.

"There was not much technology when I was in school," Cooper said in a report in the Alex City Outlook. "These kids will see changes before they leave school — they have already seen big changes in technology. We hope we are giving students more options through technology."

He also reiterated that technology will only enhance students' absorption in their core academic subjects such as math, science, language and social studies.

"They are still going to learn the same things their parents did," Cooper said. "Technology is a tool that allows them to learn in a different way than their parents did."

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.