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Decatur Co. schools receive grant for Chromebook computers

Superintendent Tim Cochran gave a presentation Tuesday night at City Council, where he announced the Decatur County School System received the Governor’s Office Tech Grant for $244,000. The grant will allow for students grades k-12 to have individual access to Google Chromebooks.

Initially the DCSS were told they would be ineligible for this grant, because they received it last year. However, at the last minute Cochran found out they could reapply because students were still sharing technology and they had a great need. The grant is extremely competitive Cochran said and based off of the school’s need.

“Rural areas are at a great advantage because there is such a need,” Cochran said. “We have been very fortunate to receive it twice.”

The grant rewards the school with between 1100-1200 Google Chrome books. Cochran said two years ago before they received the grant the school was really struggling. Teachers had a hard time planning with the limited resources and they had to sign up to get a cart of Chrome books, and there was still no guarantee they would get the cart that day.

With the award, teachers can now plan their curriculum on the Chrome books and perform diagnostic and support lessons through the technology. The technology also offers content from the textbook that the students can engage with. One of the things Cochran stressed about the technology is that during centers students can use the software specifically tailored to them.

The lessons can be individualized for students that are farther ahead in the content or students who are having a difficult time understanding it.

The Chrome books will stay at school and are not assigned to students like textbooks. They are never assigned something or responsible for something that they would not be capable of performing at home without a Chrome book.

While there is not currently a need to take home a personal computer, if a student ever was in real need, Cochran said that is something they would help the student out with.