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Department of Education grant puts tablets in GCS students' hands

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TWC News: Department of Education grant puts tablets in GCS students' hands
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GREENSBORO—This is the first time James Galipeau has seen the tablet that will become an important part of his learning.

“I've already learned so much about it and we're already doing a couple of projects on them and it's actually getting pretty easy,” Galipeau said.

A $35 million grant from the US Department of Education is paying for the tablets, which go to nearly all GCS middle school students.

School leaders said it will change how teachers reach their students.

“Teachers will be able to push out questions to the student that they can respond directly back to the teacher,” Jake Henry, Executive Director of Instructional Technology at GCS, said. “So the teacher can get quick feedback about how students are doing on certain topics.”

These tablets mark one of the biggest one-time school technology rollouts in the nation. Fourteen-thousand students in 18 GCS middle schools will get the tablets after the first week of school.

“We feel like the technology is critical to connecting with kids,” Henry said. “We think it's going to really help us improve the way we are teaching them and the ways students are learning.”

And Henry points out, they've taken steps to make sure these tablets are available – regardless of if they're broken or lost.

“A large part of our contract, and an important part of our contract with the company that we're leasing them from, is an exchange program,” Henry said. “Where students, if tablets get broken, or they're lost or get damaged, we'll be able to replace them. That's just a natural part of working with technology.”

Parents hope having these tablets will help make their students stand out in the global marketplace.

“It will help the kids to be competitive with other countries and also help them to know more and have more careers,” GCS parent Atim Idika said.

Galipeau is excited that he won't have to share a single tablet, now that all of the students have one of their own.

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