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Public school board exceeds computer-to-student ratio

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Keeping students in touch with technology shouldn’t be a problem for the Rainy River District School Board, which has exceeded the provincial standard ratio for computers in classrooms here for the 2000-01 year.

“We have 217 computers replacing the old ones in our elementary schools [a 3:1 ratio], and 300 last year that went in the high school, bringing us to a ratio of 5:1--one of the best ratios in the province,” noted Stephen Danielson, computer systems administrator for the board.

“The Ministry [of Education] asks for 10:1,” he noted.

The board now boasts more than 1,000 computers in total.

With an expenditure of $280,000 in hardware, plus an additional amount in software, Danielson said most schools are creating computer labs--and all -have at least one computer in each classroom.

And what will teachers be doing with all these computers? New resource documents this month provide teachers with a variety of activities for integrating computer skills into all curriculum areas, said Danielson.

“These resource documents will be available for each grade level in elementary schools and for each subject area in secondary schools,” he noted.

“Ultimately, the resource documents will link computer skills, curriculum expectations, specific tool- and curriculum-based software, and appropriate activities by grade level and subject area,” he added.

“We really want kids to learn to use the computer as a tool to help them out,” he stressed.

Teachers also will soon receive a planning template, which will enable them to plan for the integration of computers into their programs.

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