Austin ISD examines how to spend $39M to upgrade technology

school_technologyAustin Independent School District leaders laid out their plans Monday for the $39 million meant to upgrade technology at many schools. Voters gave the green light in 2013, and officials are now deciding what new electronics will be installed at schools across the district.

“I would’ve used a blackboard with chalk,” said Chris Cain, a teacher at Austin High School. “And overhead projectors. You could put transparencies on and write on with a pen.”

Cain, who has been at Austin High School since 2001, says technology has come a long way during her time as a teacher. But even the newer overhead projectors in many classrooms are already becoming outdated.

“A lot of people have a projector that the bulb is no longer manufactured,” said Cain. “The projector’s been discontinued, and we can’t buy bulbs for them.”

So it’s a good thing the district has $39 million to dedicate to technology, she added.

“The 20/20 plan calls for not only a new hardware refresh but you’ll see new printers, projectors, updated laptops and all sorts of other good things,” said AISD board member Robert Schneider.

Board members say the upgrades to school all across the district will help prepare students for college.

“You go to any school these days, and you have to be very technologically oriented to get very far,” Schneider added. “And we’re trying to get kids ready for the future.” >more

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