August 20, 2008

Apple Computers Bring New Technology to Mandarin School Crown Point Elementary Gets Wired for Macs.


The phrase "Wild About Learning On Our Way To Success" is displayed on bulletin boards and in classrooms throughout Crown Point Elementary School.

Teachers went back to work to find workers retrofitting classrooms with new power outlets, phone jacks and wiring for Internet connections compatible with new Apple desktop computers for the students. Over the next two years, the remaining 30 percent of Duval County's public elementary schools, including Mandarin Oaks and Beauclerc elementaries, will be retrofitted, said Terri Stahlman, Duval County Public Schools chief technology officer.

"We've done all the high schools and the middle schools and one- third of the elementary schools," she said.

Roughly $1 million from capital funds was spent on the project at Crown Point Elementary School. When all the equipment arrives, it will be out with the old IBM computers and in with the new Apple computers that are equipped to meet current technological standards. The computers have built-in mechanisms including audio, video, music and other features that will give students a different hands-on experience in and outside the classroom, Stahlman said.

"It's important to expose all students [to Apple technology] because all children need to become digitally literate for the workplace," she said.

Co-teachers Davia Colbert and Nancy Townsend said they are thrilled about the upcoming school year because the new technology, along with their learning schedule provided by the district, will help them relate real-world experiences to their classroom.

"I'm so excited they have updated technology for these kids," said Colbert, going into her fifth year of teaching.

"It's good they're updating our technology to match with the time," said Townsend, who is beginning her 20th year of teaching.

The pair said they want students to be happy to come to school. The new technology, as well as a family-oriented classroom setting created with an animal-themed decor, desk tags, classroom centers and a classroom library, will help with the learning process, they said. That makes teaching a joy.

"You feel needed," said Colbert. "It makes you feel good to know they've learned something from you."

"It makes me feel like I'm doing my job to make the world a better place," Townsend said.

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