CONWAY, SC (WBTW)- Gone are the days of only using chalk boards and paper. Over the last five years, technology in the classroom has changed across the country and in Horry County Schools.
The district utilizes blended learning which is a combination of in person and online instruction.
starting with the third grade, students get personal devices like tablets and laptops as a part of their personalized digital learning or PDL initiative.
“It allows students and teachers to be able to get that individualized attention to that learner and learn at their pace as well as collaborative learning. They’re able to work in groups,” said Lisa Bourcier, spokesperson for HCS.
Horry County Schools spends nine million dollars of its budget on technology and devices for the entire district including staff.
They work make sure students have the most up to date devices. The district refreshes the devices every four years and uses focus groups of teachers and students to choose the new ones.
This school year, 5th graders will get new Ipads which will cost 1.6 million dollars. The district believes that is a worthy investment.
“We know technology is up and coming and we want to make sure that our students are just as competitive as other students across the nation and are college and career ready when they leave us,” said Bourcier.
A study done by MidAmerica Nazerene University surveyed 1,000 high school teachers and found that 66 percent of schools provide laptops and tablets, 42 percent of assignments are done by hand, and 82 percent of teachers said tools have enhanced learning and teaching.
“We have four year olds that know how to code before they know how to read. It’s something theyre very familiar with and catch on very easy,” said Bourcier.
HCS is also working to get kids interested in technology and stem at an early age by rolling out a 1.9 million dollar K-12 initiative to hire STEM teachers at all elementary schools.