Huntsville City Schools seeks feedback on new student laptops

Students and parents can view the device candidates in person or online. (Source: WAFF)
Students and parents can view the device candidates in person or online. (Source: WAFF)
Students are asked to rate each potential device on a 3-point system. (Source: WAFF)
Students are asked to rate each potential device on a 3-point system. (Source: WAFF)

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Huntsville City Schools is holding "New Laptop Show and Share" events ahead of the next school year.

The school system will update its laptop computers for the upcoming 2015 - 2016 school year to new models to keep up with the ever-changing demands of technology, and to coincide with the end of the lease on the current equipment.

Parents, students, and community members were invited Monday to look at new models the district is considering and leave input. It was the first of six total events scheduled through early 2015.

Three different types of laptops and tablets will be tested. District officials said they will use score cards and other types of feedback to make a decision about what new equipment to lease and distribute to students in the new school year.

Johnson High School math teacher Nicole Franklin weighed in on the options Monday. She said touchscreens not only allow for students to write out and solve digital problems without pen and paper, but also "gives them less to complain about if they have a hand in choosing what it is that they want."

"It gives them a sense of ownership, so I feel like they will treat it better," Franklin said.

Price will also play a role in the decision process. The current laptop lease costs the district about $4.5 million. Officials said they are still figuring out the costs for the newer models, but said they're looking for the best device for the best value.

There are five more "Show and Share" events scheduled through January:

  • Tuesday, Dec. 9, 6-7 p.m. at Grissom High
  • Thursday, Dec. 11, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Huntsville High
  • Tuesday, Jan. 13, 6-7 p.m. at Lee / New Century High
  • Thursday, Jan. 15, 4:30-5:30 p.m. at Columbia High
  • Friday, Jan. 16, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Butler High

Click here for a virtual presentation of the models under consideration. You will also find a link to submit your feedback.

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