(Tribune (Mesa, AZ) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) July 20--This year, the Mesa Public School District is bringing computer skills and technology to the forefront of study and teaching focus.
Seventh-graders will be required to take a class in computer familiarization and teachers in the district will receive tablet computers in an effort to bring teaching aids up to date.
"Students will become cyber-savvy by learning Internet safety skills as they gain a practical understanding of how to safely and responsibly take advantage of online resources," the district said in a statement. "They will also gain a comprehensive understanding of composing documents, spreadsheets and presentations through hands-on, real-world projects using Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint."
Students will also work with "a variety of other technology resources" in other academic areas, according to the district. The course is designed to help students transition into the workforce, and some students are already completing the course over the summer.
Teachers will be equipped with Lenovo ThinkPad Helix Ultrabooks, allowing them to wirelessly use a projector and effectively digitize the classroom whiteboard.
"The school's wireless infrastructure will allow the device to access online resources while a WiDi receiver attached to the projector will allow the device to broadcast both audio and video content from anywhere in the room," according to the press release.
The tablets will dock to a conventional keyboard and monitor in classrooms but allow teachers to take classroom materials and teaching aids outside the classroom and to staff meetings and continuing education training.
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