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'Like' this: Technology upgrade at Crook County High

By Alicia Inns
Published On: Aug 29 2013 10:30:40 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Alicia Inns talked with school staff about getting some major technology upgrades thanks to a donation from Facebook.

PRINEVILLE, Ore. -

Inside Crook County High School, there's a digital makeover going on, of high-tech proportions.

Laptops, monitors -- you name it. All thanks to a big donation, from a company you may well deal with every day.

In February, Facebook donated $100,000 to CCHS for technology, when the company received business energy tax credits.

"It's important for us to develop our local kids here to really have a good understanding of science and technology, and having it being used here is really nice to see," said Chuck Goolsbee, the site manager for the Facebook Data Center in Prineville.

After making a visit to Springfield to see what other schools are doing with technology, the school staff returned home to see what they could do for their own 800 students..

"We've strategically placed it in all of our classrooms, so that students of every level at every grade, everyone in between, will have access to this technology," said Principal Michelle Jonas.

In the science department, a computer for each lab station has been installed, with a Windows-based machine.

"I have used some of the things in my labs before but not to this scale -- not where everyone in the class is going to have the opportunity to have the probes and equipment in their hands," said chemistry teacher Jeff Lowenbach.

"Smartboards" are set up in the social studies department, along with laptops and a sound system -- increasing student engagement.

"I think that so often, we teachers are behind the technology of the students that we teach," said social studies teacher Carrie Lowenbach. "So it's going to be nice to be able to some of the same technologies and some of the things they know how to do intuitively, because they've grown up with it," said Social Studies teacher.

The Spanish department will add a listening lab with 20 laptops, along with headphones and microphones. And 90 new Google Chromebooks wills be available throughout the departments. for student and teacher use.

To make it all click, eleven new wireless access points are being installed.

All these new gadgets, ready for students to log in and get to work.

"We are so excited to start using this technology, and it's going to help teachers engage students and help work towards getting them ready for a career and college," Jonas said.

The district has $28,000 left over from the Facebook donation. After teachers can see how this technology gets used, they will decide where to allocate the rest of the money.

Freshmen at Crook County start Tuesday, September 3rd. The rest of the classes start Wednesday.

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