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NYM school plans technology levy spending

The New York Mills technology committee is putting a lot of thought into how the technology levy should be spent.

Last fall, a $75 per student levy was voter approved, giving the school $50,000 a year for the next four years to be used toward technology.

The school has already started updating technology by putting WiFi hubs throughout the facility.

Currently, the school is looking into demo electronic tablets from Samsung and other brands. The committee wants the teachers to try out the demos for a month and compare them to the iPads they have already used.

The teachers are hoping some of the other electronic tablets work better with school subscribed assessment programs, like Reader Eggs.

The committee has also taken some time to address how technology can help solve obstacles to learning.

At the December meeting, the technology committee listed out some of these obstacles.

At its meeting last week, the committee grouped the 'problems' under broader subgroups, and then brainstormed ways technology could help solve some of the issues.

For example, the teachers felt different ability levels in the classroom make it harder for kids to learn. Some technology-based solutions to this problem would be programs that provide immediate student feedback, more electronic notebooks available for daily use and internet sites that would provide dynamic content in the classroom.

Finding the problems and addressing how technology could help these issues keeps the focus of the technology funds on the students.

This approach also helps the committee see how technology can be an asset in learning.

The technology plan has not been finalized, but the committee continues to meet on a weekly or monthly basis.

The school board has asked for a presentation from the technology committee by March.