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Technology Use Grows at Wilton Schools

WILTON, Conn. – Through a practical exhibit of a SMART Board, the Wilton Board of Education was shown how students are using new technologies in the classrooms.

Mathew Hepfer, director of technology for the Wilton schools, brought a SMART Board to the school board meeting Thursday night with a presentation of videos of the individual schools' technology instructional leader.

One of the features used frequently is the ability to put videos of lessons online, provided that the teacher has a SMART Board, Hepfer said. In total, there are 155 boards in the four school buildings.

Teachers are “able to reinforce their lessons through videos” on their individual websites, Nick Taylor, a teacher at Cider Mill and the school's technology instructional leader, said in his video presentation.

As far as computer use, 368 computers in all the schools need immediate replacement. Hepfer said these computers have run on their warranties. Replacing the computers is part of moving the schools into the 21st century and helping “to make sure that every student has equal access to the technology,” Hepfer said. Technology isn’t taught anymore, he said, but now “is a part of the class system.”

Board member Karen Birck asked whether students, especially in the high school, bring their own technology to use. She said she attended a conference that suggested, “If you invite (the students) to bring their own devices they will. In theory, it would phase out the purpose of the school computers.”

Ultimately, Hepfer said he wants wireless throughout the schools. Now, 20 percent to 30 percent of the high school has wireless capabilities.

The continual and reinforced use of Edline, the parent portal, and the new Google mail account for the high school are also key technologies in use. And a makeover of school websites is expected in the next few weeks.

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