Marshalltown school leaders have admitted the district has been behind the times when it comes to technology in the classroom.
They said they hope to catch up real quick in the next couple of years.
The district plans to purchase 1,500 Chromebook computers to use in seventh through 12th grade science classrooms and third and fourth grade classrooms at all elementary schools in 2014.
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Ronnie Manis, instructional application specialist with the school district, holds up a Chromebook computer at a recent school board meeting. The district is purchasing 1,500 of these computers for use by students in 2014 as part of an increased emphasis on technology.
"This is big," said Associate Superintendent Susan Pecinovsky. "This is exciting."
The computers, along with the online resources needed to run them, will cost the district $837,000. The Chromebooks cost $300 each.
"This is obviously a significant investment," said Superintendent Marvin Wade.
There are plans to phase in even more computers in the next few years to be used in the classrooms. Wade said over the the next three years students in all grade levels in the district would have access to some sort of device.
Pecinovsky said these computers and other strategies will help bring the students into 21st century learning.
"This allows us to be engaged in that global community," Pecinovsky said.
The school board approved the purchase of $429,827 for a wireless network to be in place in the district to handle these new devices and other technology needs.
A bulk of this upgrade is being paid for by money received by Microsoft as a result of a settlement in a lawsuit filed by the state against the software company.