COPPERAS COVE — The Copperas Cove Independent School District is attempting to meet the technology needs of students and staff by expanding its wireless networks.
This month, the district’s board of trustees approved $180,000 for the purchase of a managed wireless network system at Copperas Cove High School as well as Copperas Cove and S.C. Lee junior high schools.
“Currently, we have a very limited wireless network at the high school and little or no access at the junior high schools,” said Joseph Burns, the district’s superintendent.
Burns said that recent research showed more than 80 percent of students have access to wireless devices such as smartphones or tablets. Wireless access would allow students and staff to have access to technology that may have only been available in the schools’ computer labs.
“In addition, technology is now integrated into all aspects of our personal and work world,” Burns said. “Therefore, we want to not only begin to allow more staff and student access, but we also want to provide more opportunities for our staff and students to integrate technology into the educational process.”
Expanding wireless network access at the three schools is just the beginning. Burns said the district plans to provide wireless access throughout the entire district.
“We don’t want staff or students to feel like they have to power down when they come to school,” he said.
The district is considering the creation of a “Bring Your Own Learning” initiative, which will allow both staff and students to utilize wireless-enabled devices like e-readers, tablets, laptops or smartphones in schools.
“Many students and staff have access to more current technology than a school district can provide for each person,” Burns said. “Finally, students and staff will have access to information and technology tools literally at their fingertips and not down the hall in a lab that requires a three-day wait to access because others are accessing the very same tools.”
Moving forward, Burns said the district will continue to look at how technology can be used to help the district manage data, analyze student performance and help teachers and staff individualize the educational needs of students.
“We know knowledge is expanding at a more rapid rate than ever before in our history, and those people who can use that knowledge in innovative and creative ways are going to be better prepared for success,” Burns said. “Technology is becoming the fulcrum needed to do the heavy lifting in an information-rich society.”