Wheatland Center School students to take a high-tech leap ahead

A typical netbook. Photo by VIA Gallery, via WikiMedia Commons under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

As students and teachers return to Wheatland Center School this September they will notice a significant difference in all of their classrooms. The school district recently secured an LCD projector and Smart Board for each of the classrooms. The school also will be purchasing a netbook computer for all students in grades 5 to 8.

What is a Smart Board? Think: whiteboard+computer+Internet all working together to help teachers provide an interactive and engaging learning experience. By introducing the Smart Boards to the classroom teachers will have access to resources that are available through the internet.

“Our staff has been longing for the Smart Boards and greater computer access for some time,” Wheatland Center Principal, Patti Clements commented. “We are extremely excited that we will now have access to these valuable resources. We have seen a significant rise in student achievement over the past school year. This initiative will help continue to support growth for all of our students.”

In addition to Smart Boards in all of the classrooms, all students in grades 5-8 will be provided a netbook for the coming school year. A net book is basically a small laptop that runs basic computer applications such as word processors, power points, spreadsheets and electronic text books. They are also designed to access all of the resources available on the internet. By providing each student with a netbook all middle school students will have access to a computer at home and at school. This will enable teachers to further develop their instruction and not be limited to computer accessibility. Lower grade students will also benefit from the program because the computers previously allocated to the middle school will now be shifted to the elementary grades effectively increasing their access to computers by over 200 percent.

The total cost of the Smart Boards, netbooks, projectors, and all necessary supplies will be approximately $120,000. The project will be financed using a low interest 4 year lease with an annual cost to the district of just over $30,000, said distrcit administrator Jason Tadlock.The district will use funds from the district’s technology budget to cover the entire cost of the project.

In order to get all of these projects up and running district technology coordinator Rick Kojis has been working tirelessly, volunteering his time and expertise.

“Rick has been wonderful and we couldn’t have pulled this off without his efforts,” Clements said.

Tadlock said, “In order for our students to receive the best possible instruction we must equip our teachers with the tools necessary to reach, excite, and engage our students. A teacher’s task is not one of simply filling student’s minds with information and facts, but rather to kindle the creativity, innovation, and learning that lies within each and every student. It is critical that we provide our teachers with the tools, resources, and training necessary to take full advantage of their capabilities and kindle the fire that lies within each of our students.”



  1. Clay Boggess says:

    This is definitely a step in the right direction. This will definitely stimulate student interest in learning while at the same time better prepare them to be technologically savvy as well.

  2. LBailey says:

    I think it’s great that they’re able to do this. But at what cost?? How many teachers were let go last year and how much bigger are they going to allow the class room sizes to get? My sons classroom has doubled in size from last year… I just think priorities need to be kept in mind.

  3. T Kerkman says:

    I applaud J Tadlock and his team at Wheatland.

    In my opinion, this type of technology in the classroom is just another avenue busting with possibilities to engage the students and educators, and should be considered a priority. Don’t get me wrong, the team work of the educator(s) and parent(s)/guardian(s) will always be the key for our children to succeed, not the technolgy.

    This article did not mention that the school embraced open source technology such as OpenOffice along with Google Apps, Gspace and more in efforts to control costs without compromising the quality of the technology. This only demonstrates a step in the right direction to continue to offer our children current options in technology while still effectively dealing with the difficult economic squeeze that all our schools are experiencing. I am hopeful that this type responsible spending will spill over to other areas in the school.

    At home we also can benefit from this approach. OpenOffice and the other applications are available for download at no cost to anyone who has access to the internet.

    For more reading:




    I cannot remember my son being excited about returning to the classroom, this year he cannot wait. Looking forward for more solid decisions like this in Wheatland’s future.

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