You talked and we listened.  Through several surveys and other means of feedback, we have heard from our students, parents, and faculty that you want newer, faster, and otherwise better computers to use here at Harrisburg Academy.  I am happy to report that we were able to make this happen for the 2012-13 academic year!  The ratio of quality computers to students in the Academy hits an all-time high this year.  Here are some highlights of the results of this project, begun last spring, and completed/ready for students as they walk through our doors next week.

Students overwhelmingly enjoyed using their own computers and participating in our 9th grade Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) One-to-One program last year. The program is back in 2012-13 and we have expanded it to include all Upper School grades (9th through 12th grade).  We know that students want to use the technology that best suits their tastes, so I believe that the entire Upper School student body will have and use really great technology for this year.

Likewise, the success of last year’s One-to-One program in 7th and 8th grade means that we will continue the program this year, as well.  The school provided netbooks for each 7th and 8th grade student to use while here at school and will follow the same structure this year with the additional option of allowing students to bring their own device if they choose.

Fifth and 6th grade will continue to use our communal “cart” laptops for the year.  We anticipate a 2-to-1 ratio of students to computers.  All cart computers are considerably newer and faster than last year.

In the Lower School and Early Childhood divisions, 3rd and 4th grade will have four netbooks dedicated to each classroom in support of group activities.  All other classrooms will have two laptops each for student use.

The SMART Board project has been completed this summer, including installation in the music rooms and libraries.  All SMART Boards have had a new computer installed with the latest and fastest processors available.  These new computers are in addition to the student computers in each room and the teacher computers.

Teacher computers continue to be upgraded on a three-year rotation.  All faculty computers more than three years old were replaced with new computers this summer.

Technology permeates every corner of our students’ lives, and our goal is to make school computers just a natural extension of how they live, work, and play all day, every day and to enable them to achieve mastery of 21st century competencies.  The Academy Tech team hopes that our efforts will make giant strides in reaching this goal!