Darlington County students get laptops, iPads to 'better access the world'

Darlington County students get laptops, iPads to 'better access the world'

DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Darlington County students received laptops and tablets as part of an initiative to give the children better access to the world.

Friday was the fourth day district staff passed out laptops this week at Darlington High School to sophomores and juniors as part of a pilot program.

Six hundred laptops will be given to the students to take home and use in the classroom, said Diane Sigmon, Darlington County School District technology director. The district has been working with teachers for a year to prepare for laptop accessibility in the classrooms.

The laptops are 11" Macbook Air computers and the overall goal is for every student in grades 9-12 to have one. The laptops will be returned at the end of the school year.

More than 1,500 iPads are circulating Darlington County schools, but the goal is for every student in grades K-8 to have an iPad.

A grant of $1.2 million dollars for digital media curriculum from the State Department of Education funded the laptop pilot program.

One child cried when she received the new technology, said Sigmon.

"She said, 'I never thought I would be so blessed.' It makes you realize how needy some of these children are when it comes to having the tools to make them competitive," Sigmon said.

"We can do more collaborative types of things in the classroom and really begin to build the skillset that we hear from businesses that people come without," she added.

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