Graham High School junior Nick Martin goes through the process of checking out the Macbook Air that will be his for the 2014-2015 school year. Martin is
Graham High School junior Nick Martin goes through the process of checking out the Macbook Air that will be his for the 2014-2015 school year. Martin is entering the serial number for his machine and charger into the school s database. (Casey Holder)
High school students within GISD started receiving Apple Air laptops about a week before the 2014-2015 school year began. Seniors, juniors and sophomores were the first recipients, and freshmen were issued the computers starting last week.

The GHS laptop initiative, which has been active for four years and is going into its fifth, is one of many technology centered programs designed to keep all GISD students as up-to-date as possible. GISD Technology Director Jayne Beale views the district as progressive when it comes to exposing its students to technology.

“As far as schools our size, I think we've been very progressive,” Beale said. “Not only with putting the laptops in the hands of the high school students. We're also putting the iPads in the hands of the junior high students.”

Beale said that the placement of iPads at Graham Junior High school is a brand new initiative, and they should be dispersed shortly after Labor Day.

“So every junior high student will have an iPad where they can take it home with them throughout the school year,” Beale said.

She explained that the GISD system is also designed to reduce waste through a kind of hand-me-down function that filters older equipment to its three elementary schools.

“The older laptops that are four years old, we're putting those down in the elementary schools,” Beale said. “So every classroom is not only going to have two to three to four iPads in them, they are also going to have up to 10 laptops as well. So, I think that as a district goes, we have widespread technology from grades K through 12.”

Keeping the latest equipment in the hands of its students is crucial to the overall GISD educational strategy, she said.

“Children are learning so fast with technology, and some as mere babies when parents have these devices at home,” she explained. “Any type of touch devices, whether it's iPads or iPhones or whatever they have at home that they're using at such an early level, if we're not giving them that opportunity to continue learning (with that level of technology), then we're going to lose them throughout the year. That's just part of their being.”

Read the entire story in this wednesday's Graham Leader.