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PORT ORFORD - In an effort to provide opportunities for students to work on technology skills, the Port Orford-Langlois School District has purchased Chromebooks for each student in grades 3-8 and upgraded a digital media lab at Pacific High School

According to a press release, Driftwood Elementary School purchased 120 Chromebooks, four Chromebook carts, and four printers for student usage through Title I funds at a cost of approximately $35,000. The school is piloting Google classroom in grades 4 through 8 and having the Chromebooks will allow students to use technology in their curriculum as well as learn typing skills they can use in everyday life.

“It is important that our students have the experiences of using technology in a way that can help them learn skills in preparation for their future," said Krista Nieraeth, principal at both Driftwood Elementary and Pacific High.

“Watching the teachers teach our younger students how to properly use email, as well as how to use the Google platform to write papers, create presentations and communicate between classmates and teachers on a single assignment makes me excited for our students’ future learning,” Nieraeth added.

She also stated that by giving the students the ability to use computers any time they want, rather than just times that can be allotted due to limited space, gives them more opportunities to learn new programs and teachers the freedom to teach.

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The district plans on purchasing 90 more Chromebooks, three Chromebook Carts, and three more printers to make Driftwood Elementary to have a 1:1 ratio of student to Chromebook starting in the next school year.

At Pacific, the district invested $32,000 into computers that are specially designed to run the latest edition of Adobe Creative Cloud Suite. Pacific currently offers two classes that use this program to teach students photo manipulation and design skills.

“The skills these students are learning using this technology is amazing, is engaging and will give our students a step up when they go out into the job market,” Nieraeth said.

Pacific also received a $24,000 grant from GEAR UP to purchase a Roland printer that can print vinyl banners, stickers, pictures and T-shirt decals. Designs for these items are done through the new computers and programs that were purchased. Students are learning how to use their designs and pictures to create items that can be sold to local community organizations for advertisement. The Port Orford Farmers Market purchased two of these vinyl banners to advertise the market over the summer.

“We are excited to give our students this opportunity to have the most updated technology at their fingertips and provide them with curriculum that is not just math or English, but curriculum that integrates important and engaging technology skills as well," Nieraeth said.

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Bandon Western World Editor Amy Moss Strong can be reached at 541-347-2423, ext. 305, or by email at amy.moss-strong@theworldlink.com. Follow Bandon Western World on Facebook.

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