NEW PLYMOUTH, IDAHO — Lack of access to a computer or the internet can be a big block for education, and access to technology can help students who are struggling.
That’s what New Plymouth Elementary School officials in Idaho have been finding out.
The school has been sending laptop computers home with students who are behind in class or don’t have access to as many learning opportunities at home, and parents have said they are appreciative of the computers.
“We talked to parents first to make sure that it was ok and most of the parents were really excited,” said Carrie Aguas, principal at New Plymouth Elementary School. “Instead of watching movies at home they have more educational materials.”
Aguas said the school uses computers that are outdated and “no longer hook up to the network.” Instead of disposing of the laptops, which are “usable machines,” they are sent home with students for a three month period. Students also get learning programs on CD.
After three months, the computers go back to the school where they are checked for viruses and then passed on to another student.
“We have reading and math [programs],” Aguas explained. “Games like Reader Rabbit, Jump Start Reading, and Jump Start Math.”
The discs can be purchased on Amazon.com for under $3, Aguas said, since both the computers and software are outdated.
“Everything still runs fine,” Aguas explained. “The computers are just slower than the ones we have now.”
The school focuses on sending laptops home with students who are behind academically, or don’t have as much support at home.
“Often times the parents might work a swing shift when they’re not home in the evenings or aren’t able to work with the kids,” Aguas explained.
Published in the Argus Observer January 6, 2015. This is the third in a series, photo taken for The Argus Observer January 2015.