Local school district unveils plan to keep up with technology - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Local school district unveils plan to keep up with technology

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STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -

This is not your typical math class. Instead of text books, there are smart books, and students are just mouse clicks away from a whole new way of learning.

"It's very interactive and really keeps them interested," Ben Franklin Junior High School Math Teacher Derek Kirklewski said.

But, for Kirklewski, he says it's a whole new way of learning for him, too.

"If I have a question I go to the kids not a peer because they are so involved," Kirklewski said.

That's why the Stevens Point Area School District has developed a technology plan to teach teachers and staff about the changing classroom.

"When you know how devices that you can hold in your hand that are as powerful as the computer at my desk and kids can do everything on them, we need to be prepared for that," District Superintendent Attila Weninger said.

The proposed plan would turn Jackson Elementary School, which has sat idle for years, into a technology professional development center. There, more than 1,000 district employees would train on new technology and how to incorporate it into the classroom. The proposed center would be funded through district dollars, grant money and an already existing foundation.

"I think the technology professional development center will bring us ahead, and allow kids to teach us what is we need to know about technology and how they best learn using it," Weninger said.

But before anything is set into motion, district officials want to hear from area parents. That's why they've set up two community forums.

"It's our way of saying, what do you think, we want to do it right this time and we want to reach out to the community," Weninger explained.

District leaders say their hopeful the community will be on board and see it as a way to give teachers like Kirklewski a chance to catch up.

"If you learn, you're students will learn better because you are familiar with the technology and know how to use it," Kirklewski said.

District leaders say, if all goes to plan, they hope to get the center up and running by the start of next school year.

To parents in the district: you can let school leaders know what you think. The community forum us at the Bliss Education Center in Stevens Point. The first one takes place Thursday April 4 at 6:30 p.m. The second one will take place Tuesday April 9th at 6:30 p.m.

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