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May 23, 2013

LHS students turn in laptops at year's end

LOGANSPORT — After a year of 1,250 laptops carried in student backpacks, in classrooms and to homes, Logansport High School is reporting a good turn-in rate and a great year of academic achievements.

For the past three days, students have turned in their laptops for the summer and most returned in good condition, according to Technology Director Cyle Dibble. Principal Matt Jones said he believes the technology helped prepare students for college.

The students were given their laptops at the beginning of the school year in order to bring more technology into their curriculum. The laptops cost $141 for each student at registration.

Students were required to turn in their laptops before summer break, and Dibble said they’ve received all of them but about 0.33 percent.

“Overall, we’re in really good shape,” Dibble said.  

Dibble said only 4 percent of the laptops have needed repair this year, including the laptops turned in this week.

That’s a low percentage, Dibble said, compared to the normal amount of damage other school corporations with the laptops have seen.

“I’ve been really happy,” Dibble said.

Jones said he believed most students took good care of their laptops because they would have the same laptop returned to them the next school year.  

Most of the problems have come from damaged screens or hard drives, he said.

Dibble said they only have one ongoing case of a possible stolen laptop.

At the beginning of the year, parents had the option of signing their student up for insurance, which cost $45 a year, in case the laptop ended up missing or broken.

However, Dibble said most students didn’t opt in to the insurance.

“We didn’t have as many as we had hoped for,” Dibble said.

He said they hope to increase that percentage next year.

School Superintendent Michele Starkey said the first year of laptops was about working out the “bugs” in the system. But she said, everything seemed to go fairly smoothly.

“I think overall it went better than we ever could have expected,” Starkey said.

Jones said he was also pleased with the way the laptops evolved into the curriculum.

“I was very happy overall with the teachers, the way they integrated it into the class,” Jones said.

Jones said he was also happy to see the laptops used outside of classroom work, with the Berrybotics robotics team and with the end-of-course assessments.

He said they’ll be looking at additional ways to use the technology in the curriculum next year.

“They’re constantly trying to implement it more,” Jones said.

Over the summer, Dibble said the tech team will also be working to update the laptops, including cutting down on the time it takes to boot up.

With most of the laptops collected, Dibble said it was strange to walk around the school and see classrooms that were usually lit up with the screens back to traditional teaching methods.

“I do think it was kind of weird walking around the school today,” Dibble said.

 Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or caitlin.huston@pharostribune.com.

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