The classroom of the future, including computers for individual students, wireless Internet connectivity and wireless printing, is in place today at Post Middle School in Post, Texas. Every one of the 200-plus students in the sixth-through-eighth-grade school is outfitted with their own computing configurations under a program that’s referred to as technology “immersion,” which includes technology being made available to each student.
Experts say the expanded use of mobile technology like that being practiced at Post Middle increases academic opportunities for students and, it’s hoped, will yield higher academic achievement levels.
At Post Middle, freeing students from the confines of desktop computers that are available only in certain rooms is a significant change. “One of the immediate benefits is that students aren’t having to plug their notebook PCs into physical connections with cables,” says James Easterling, technology coordinator at the school. “Printers are available, no matter where they are in the building, and students can use those printers to do all sorts of classroom assignments and research. Plus, it’s easy for teachers to have students print from the computer instead of having to hand write their assignments.”
The technology infrastructure that’s been put in place at Post Middle consists of Apple Computer PowerBooks, Apple AirPort wireless local area network (LAN) gear, Hewlett-Packard (HP) printers and InFocus ceiling-mount projectors. The project got its primary funding through a Texas program called the Technology Immersion Pilot (TIP) Grant Program, which capitalizes on federal funds made available through the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
The school was already using HP LaserJet 4350n networked printers, and selected those same printers to outfit individual classrooms. When it came to choosing printers, Post Middle relied on a proven partner in CDW Government (CDW?G), a leading provider of technology solutions to governments and educators. Easterling estimates that the school has been partnering with CDW?G for four years, and in the past has purchased a wide variety of equipment, including digital cameras, hard drives, FireWire drives and more.
While Easterling appreciates the broad, diverse line of products that CDW?G carries, he places high value on the relationship he maintains with CDW?G K-12 account manager Jeff Gansmann. “The person is the key differentiator,” he says. “My sales rep is very good to research purchases I want to make; he calls me often and asks about my needs. For example, if we’re dealing with an issue on some projector that has gone wrong, he’s trying to help me through that issue.”
Gansmann says maintaining a close relationship is critical to understanding a school’s technology needs. “One thing that I work on is trying to keep in constant contact with what’s going on currently in their district and what future plans are. Post Middle isn’t the largest school district in the world, but these are the types of accounts we work best with. They rely on our internal resources for recommendations on what would be the right direction for them to go.”
For more information contact CDW?G at 1-800.767.4239 or visit CDWG.com