Public school supplies 850 students with Chromebooks - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Public school supplies 850 students with Chromebooks

Posted: Updated:
HOT SPRINGS (KATV) -

Students at Fountain Lake School District started out the school year with a new tool.

850 middle and high school students were assigned Google Chromebooks, which look like small laptops but operate like a tablet.

The devices will allow the students to store work in the cloud on their school Google accounts they'll be able to access anywhere.

"We can take all of our work and have it portably and we can use them whenever and wherever we want," said junior Abby Rose.

The school bought 900 Chromebooks and cases. Each set cost about $290.

The total cost was over $260,000, but director of curriculum Brad Sullivan said the cost was worth it.

"Our school board had a commitment and we were innovative in the way we used our both district and federal funds," Sullivan said. 

For the last three years, the district's middle school students used Netbooks. Those Netbooks are now being used by the school's elementary school students.

High school principal Donald Westerman says the Chromebook's interface and design will be a good fit with the students' needs.

"We felt like all students need an opportunity to be successful in the future and this is a tool that is going to allow them to do that," Westerman explained. "It kind of levels the playing field for kids."

"We all deserve the same education opportunities," said junior Spencer Golden.

With the new technology students can use at school and at home, Golden said he'll now have more opportunities to learn.

"Right now I'm actually without a computer at home," Golden said. We don't have internet, so it's really hard for me to do research for papers or anything like that."

The school district is also planning to put wireless hotspots on the school buses.