Digital era begins in Huntsville City schools - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Digital era begins in Huntsville City schools

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Students prepare to use their laptops at Goldman Schiffman Elementary. Students prepare to use their laptops at Goldman Schiffman Elementary.

Students and teachers at all Huntsville City schools fired up their laptops, iPads, and netbooks for the first time Monday, to begin a new era of learning.

The school district has been doing a lot of preparation to avoid technical glitches and safety issues.

They've increased the internet bandwidth to accommodate all the extra web traffic, provided extensive training for all teachers, and armed the computers with strict filters to prevent inappropriate web browsing.

They also have teams of experts from the software company posted at the schools to help teachers and students.

If there is a glitch in the software during class, there will be textbooks on hand for the students to use.

All 4th through 12th graders have laptops to learn with this year, while 3rd graders will use netbooks. The little ones, Pre-K through 2nd grade, will use iPads, but only 3rd through 12th graders will be able to take their devices home with them.

About 75 percent of students picked up their laptops early last week. The rest can get theirs this week.

The school district is also testing out Wi-Fi on school buses. About 20 buses have been chosen as part of a pilot program.

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