Technology will require funding to keep state of the art

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Think back to eight years ago. What method did you use to surf the Internet, if you even had access?

Typically most people would say they used a desktop machine, which usually entailed a tower and monitor. Most desktop machines at that time didn’t have wireless capability, so there was no need to install a wireless network connection.

Today, things are much different. Access to the Internet has now become integral in the classroom, which could be considered unheard of by those told two decades ago that the use of a digital calculator in class was prohibited.

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These days, most students access the Internet using wireless technology via tablets, iPads or laptop computers.

This is evidently becoming a problem in schools that employ aging technology to provide a wireless connection.

Now that the wireless access points are approaching a decade of use, they just can’t provide the speed and therefore the number of viable connections classrooms require.

That’s where some federal funding can help. Tuesday, the Picayune School District’s Board of Trustees was presented with a bid to install a new network infrastructure, to the tune of $226,000. 

That may sound like a lot of money, and it is, but when you consider the equipment that will be required to bring the wireless connection to a level that meets classroom needs, it’s a worthwhile investment.

According to information presented at the meeting, if the district is approved for federal funding, the District would only be responsible for paying 15 percent of that expense. And if the funding is denied, the District is not bound by the bid.

We commend the District’s technology department for seeking the funding to help alleviate the problem, thereby ensuring students get the best possible education available, and the Board for seeing the value in improving the system.