By Holly Wise
Killeen Daily Herald
LAMPASAS - Funding the integration of technology into the classroom was discussed at the Lampasas ISD's board meeting Wednesday morning. According to some board members, it's a subject that hasn't been broached by the administration for several years.
Not only is it the source of discussion among administration and staff, classroom technology is being implemented across the district. And it's only beginning.
Eric Folks, LISD instructional technology coordinator, demonstrated the use of various technological tools that are available to educators including SMART boards, document cameras, Mobis and Poll Everywhere.
"Kids are technologically engaged," Folks said. Through Poll Everywhere, students are able to text their answer to a question displayed on the white board and watch the graph bars change as texts are received.
"It's very simple to use your cell phone as an instructional device," Folks said.
According to Pew Research Centers and America's Life project, 30 percent of teens send more than 100 text messages a day.
Other technology available to educators includes the use of Internet sites such as Brain Pop, Study Island and Safari Montage, which provide videos and interactive learning tools for students.
The first year of the five-year district financial plan allocates $250,000 for district instructional technology. Funds were not allocated for years two, three, four and five, which caused discussion among board members and staff.
LISD Superintendent Randy Hoyer reminded the board that the five-year plan document is a "working document," and that amendments would be made to include money for technology in future years.
Folks said he has received 20 new applications from LISD teachers who want a SMART board in their classrooms. The interactive touch-based whiteboards have been around for 20 years, Folks said, and despite their age, are compatible with new software.
Board member Kirk Whitehead said his child, who is in a classroom equipped with a SMART board, looks forward to going to school.
Other items in the five-year plan include playground equipment for Hanna Springs Elementary and Kline Whitis Elementary, security cameras for both campuses and a new HVAC system for Lampasas Middle School.
Contact Holly Wise at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7474.