Hettinger Public School office staff worker Kira Henderson found and applied for a technology grant, resulting in 16 new Google Chromebook laptops for Hettinger Public School. The grant for $2,500 was awarded to the school from the BNSF Railroad foundation.
“My dad works for the railroad, so he told me who to talk to,” said Henderson. “I submitted a form to the BNSF foundation and it took six months to hear from them, but they ended up giving us $2,500 for our technology committee.”
In the past, BNSF railroad foundation granted money to the school to go towards the Hettinger pool.
“We are a stopping point for the railroad,” said Henderson, “So I thought to go and try for [the grant].”
According to Darin Seamands, the Hettinger Public School’s principle, the new laptops provide a trial run for using laptops on an individual basis for the school.
“We don’t have the money to go on a one-to-one initiative with technology right now. However, [this grant] will allow us to see how Chromebooks can be used,” said principal Seamands.
According to Seamands, ten of the Chromebook laptops will be used for both the second and fifth grades in the elementary school.
“When you have technology in the room, you can have a group of kids working on a part of the assignment that deals with technology. That provides the teacher time to work with a smaller group with more one-on-one. In the elementary they are going to be used in two separate classrooms right now,” continued Seamands.
The other six computers will be used for ITV classes in the high school. Those classes are based on using the Internet for assignments. And they will be available for checkout so teachers can use them to benefit their class.
“The Chromebooks are a very flexible pieces of equipment that are honestly only limited by the imagination of the teacher,” continued Seamands.
The laptops are at the school and once they get set up with the correct programs, they will be put to use.
“None of it would have been possible without the $2,500 [grant funding]. Technology is one of the most expensive things that a school can deal with,” said Seamands, “If we aren’t giving these kids opportunities to use technology, what are we preparing them for? It’s great that Mrs. Henderson went out and found us that money.”
According to Seamands, the school is always looking and applying for grants.
“It’s always nice when we have staff members that are in tune to grants that are not on the radar of others in the building,” said Seamands. “This is a great example of how each of our staff members’ personal strengths benefit the school.”