School board approves technology plan for Oklahoma City schools

Oklahoma City Public Schools will buy Google laptops for some students at middle schools. If the plan works, the district plans to buy more.
by Tim Willert Modified: November 20, 2013 at 12:00 pm •  Published: November 19, 2013

Oklahoma City Public Schools is moving forward with a plan to provide students with laptop computers and Internet access for their personal devices in hopes of improving academic achievement.

The school board voted unanimously Monday night to approve the districtwide modernization plan, which would include online collaboration and student email through Google Apps for Education.

“I think right now we're looking at whatever can help us, and technology is one of those tools that we have underutilized,” Interim Superintendent Dave Lopez said Tuesday. “For our district, I think technology can be an accelerator for student achievement.”

The board approved an $86,417 startup fee. The total cost to the school district to implement the plan would be about $2 million, which Lopez said will be paid for with remaining MAPS for Kids money intended for information technology.

Additional funding from federal and local grant programs will help pay for 500 Google Chromebooks, laptops that will be made available initially to middle schools by application,

The district will allow students to bring their own laptops, tablets and cellphones for academic purposes and provide wireless access. The Chromebooks will be used by students who do not bring their own devices.

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