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High School's Tech Plan Envisions End of Lugging Textbooks

Three-year plan set for approval at May 6 meeting.

Watchung Hills Regional Board of Education members have been working on a new three-year plan to guide technology development and systems at the school, and the primary goal of a new plan set for a board vote next week is to expand the school network to a 1GB wireless system.

At Monday's meeting, board member Barry Hunsinger updated the board on the plans, which will enable to school to focus on using online testing, virtual desktops and e-textbooks—which board member Sondra Fechtner noted could have an added benefit for students.

"One issue we addressed a long time ago was the backpacks and the weight of the backpacks, and the damage on the structure our youngsters," she said, and asked if the plans would help alleviate some of the load for the students.

While Hunsinger and Superintendent Frances Stromsland said that is a long-range goal, it will depend on the publishers' willingness to publish electronic and interactive versions of the textbook versions the district uses.

Hunsinger also noted the plans will allow for students to use their own devices (known as "Bring Your Own Device," or BYOD), and include provisions for accommodating students unable ot afford the technology. 

"I'm sure there will be a little tweaking along the the way," Hunsinger said of the plan.

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