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Exclusive: BC plans to put a computer in every student's hands

The Bethlehem Central School District's Board of Education will hear on Wednesday, Jan. 19, a long-term initiative to provide a personal computing device to every district student grades five through twelve.

Administrators said the five-year program would result in "1:1" access to a laptop, smartphone or tablet computer for students. It will be rolled out first to fifth, eighth, ninth and tenth grades.

A district representative said the cost of the program will be discussed on Wednesday.

"This is the nature of the world today, and we have a responsibility not just to prepare students for it, but to also recognize the extraordinary promise technology holds for their learning today " right now," said Assistant Superintendent of Educational Programs Jody Monroe. "It's time to move both aggressively and thoughtfully in this direction. This five-year plan does that, allowing us to get started right away and build on what we are learning as the initiative grows."

It was not immediately clear if students would be assigned a device to take home or if the computing will be restricted to the classroom. It may vary from grade to grade.

The middle and high schools have nearly 2,900 students enrolled this school year, which covers grades six through twelve.

BC administrators visited a New Jersey school that had a "1:1 computing" program in place. They will visit Hudson Falls Central School District later this month and have made a trip to Apple Education in Boston. The devices provided to students will not all be Apples.

Check back to www.spotlightnews.com for more on the initiative.""

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