|Concern for technology cited for reason to pass mill levy|
|Written by Holyoke Enterprise|
As educators, we would like to take this opportunity to express our support for 3B. It is probably no surprise that teachers would support this measure and such support might be interpreted by cynics as being “self-serving.”
Others might see it as an endorsement from people who work within the walls of our district every day and are able to see the value in passing 3B to the improvement of the educational experience for our students.
This year, several teachers have been able to utilize Promethean boards in their classrooms. We would like to see this technology become available to every classroom. These boards were the result of a collaborative fund raising effort by PIE, the Holyoke Education Foundation and a Mortgridge Grant.
These are interactive white boards that are interfaced with the classroom computer and can be used as an education resource by teachers and students alike.
With these boards, classroom teachers can utilize the World Wide Web to bring outside resources into the classroom immediately.
Tests and quizzes can also be administered on these boards. Students can respond to questions by using “clickers.” This not only allows for immediate feedback to the instructor, but also allows teachers to differentiate the educational experience to fit the individual learner. Thus, a teacher can quickly evaluate and adjust the educational experience to accommodate the different learning abilities present in every classroom.
Students themselves are excited and motivated to learn in the presence of such technology. Let’s face it, we live in an age of “fast” information. Students need the technological tools and capabilities to become 21st century learners as they progress toward college. Technology utilization at the collegiate level is exploding.
In order to accommodate technology and to maintain our buildings, 3B is necessary to provide critical capital improvements. For example, some rooms suffer heat failures in cold weather and students have to wear jackets to be comfortable. Additional heaters cannot be plugged in as the electrical breakers fail and electricity is lost to several rooms.
The bathrooms are in need of repairs, as well as leaking roofs requiring some attention. While the structural integrity of the elementary building is adequate, handicapped accessibility needs to be improved.
With further cuts for education looming at the state level, successful passage of 3B is necessary to continue to provide a quality education for Holyoke students.
Theresa Tharp, member of Holyoke Education Association