When student Eddie Chavez taps into resources on the Internet, he learns from two communities of teachers, those inside his school and others around the world.
Chavez, a senior at Hillsboro High School, uses an iPad to make his day easier and his education stronger.
“I organize my life on the planet with it,” Chavez said. “It’s endless. There’s not one day that I don’t go looking for something useful.”
From online tutorials to downloadable apps of periodic tables and conversion units, the mobile computer gives Chavez learning opportunities that enrich his classroom experience.
The Hillsboro School District has relaxed its policy on student use of mobile devices in school. With a teacher’s discretion, students can use a personal device in class as a learning aid.
“More kids bring in tablets because computers at the school aren’t the best,” Chavez explained. “It’s a fast world, and the computers are not keeping up.”
Computers available to students in Hillsboro schools are desktop computers inside computer labs. There often are not enough computers for the number of students in the lab, and when a student finally does get access, the older model computers can take up to 10 minutes to load a homework assignment, Chavez said.
“I remember some of that technology from when I was in the first grade,” he added.
Chavez plans to attend college and is interested in political science or public administration. He already has shown a talent for activism by participating with a group from the district that went to Salem to advocate for more K-12 funding. He also worked the phone bank for Citizens for Hillsboro Schools, the group promoting a $25 million bond for school maintenance and technology that is now going before voters.
“I’m raising my voice for my younger brother in the fourth grade,” Chavez said. “I want him to have a better opportunity through better technology. It will enhance how our teachers teach us and how we learn.”
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc