Students at Gulf Shores High School got a late Christmas present Tuesday, January 7, 2020. Each of them received a new MacBook Air. The School Board hopes the technology will help support the curriculum and learning environment.
It took just an hour and a half to bring 900 new, MacBooks online. Up through Christmas break, students at Gulf Shores High School were using Chromebooks. With the new year came technology which students have been looking forward to.
“They have new apps and new resources that the Chromebooks didn’t,” said junior, Stacy Stevens. “There’s more creative options with MacBooks to do our projects…to do research.”
“It’s probably going to give me more…probably more lessons to learn on MacBooks and maybe how to use the computer in a more technological age, how to move forward for when I go off to college,” added senior, Tanner Jones.
Teachers also use the MacBooks and school officials said now that the students do too, it will enhance creativity and collaboration between the students and teachers. Teachers said they will now be able to track every student’s progress more closely and keep them on track with their peers.
“The management system that’s included with these MacBooks will allow us to see every tab that’s open, allow us to monitor student progress, keep them on task which of course benefits everyone,” explained US History teacher, Amanda Reffitt.
School officials said the program is not just a financial investment. More importantly, it’s an investment in the students, to help them reach their full potential.
“The shackles are off,” said Gulf Shores School Board president, Kevin Corcoran. “We’re now able to proceed at a pace that we weren’t able to in the past and that’s what’s making it so exciting. The kids are excited. The faculty’s excited and we have total engagement.”
The purchase was made possible through a grant from the Erie Hall Meyer Charitable Fund and funding from the city. Nearly half a million dollars will be invested over the next three years in the program as it’s brought into the middle school as well.