Changing the way students learn

Changing+the+way+students+learn

Patrick O'Connell

Next school year Joliet West is giving everyone in the school laptops, instead of waiting until the non laptop students graduate out.

Jenny Glasscock, Features Editor

At the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, laptops were issued to all freshmen in Joliet District 204. Since then, 1:1 technology in the schools have only grown, with each new class of freshman receiving their own laptop for school and home use. The exponential growth will only continue next year, the 2014-2015 school year, when all students, including seniors who are enrolled in at least three college prep courses, will be guaranteed their own laptop computers.

This is called the blended learning program, which means students will be able to learn both in person and online. This will allow them to be able to learn on their own time and be better prepared for a college environment where online classes are available to students.

“I believe that the laptops are a beneficial investment to further educate students and allow them to experience a glimpse of what college life will be like in years to come,” sophomore, Sydney Czyzon says.

Already on JtLearn, students are exposed to a college-like environment. They can view the calendar for each of their classes, which tells them what assignments are coming up and when they are due, and can download, complete and turn them in with no paper required.

Czyzon was among the hundreds of other students who were the first class to get their own laptop. Although many students think the laptops are positive, the cost to implement this technology won’t be cheap. The total cost will be about $3.3 million to cover all of the new equipment, which is about $550 per laptop for 6,000 students throughout the district. But some students think the cost is worth it.

“Implementing technology more into Joliet West would be useful to students who would like to experience an advanced learning style that relies on 1:1 technology,” sophomore, Jessica Marshall states.

“They provide countless opportunities for individualized career interests that students may possess, while being fast and convenient,” Czyzon elaborates.

A Student Showcase on February 25, 2014 displayed the technology, and community members were able to come in to see how the laptops worked, and give their opinions on what worked and what they think could be improved.

JTHS’s 1:1 Initiative truly helps prepare students for their future endeavors, and is unique in allowing almost full device capabilities, creating an opportunity for learning outside of the classroom environment as well, ” senior, Matthew Verive, a student who was at the showcase, comments.