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Blind Brook Board Discusses New Technology

RYE BROOK, N.Y. - The Blind Brook Board of Education heard about ways to implement more advanced technology into the district when the Director of Technology Colin Byrne addressed the board Tuesday night.

Among the proposed upgrades was the implementation of 10 laptop carts that would act as a portable computer classroom for teachers and students. The carts would be equipped with 20 to 30 netbook computers so that each individual student in a class could have access to the Internet without leaving the classroom. According to Byrne, the laptop carts would cost around $100,000.

Board Vice President Glen Schuster raised the question of implementing a full-service computer lab instead of the laptop carts. In addition to being more expensive, Byrne cited lack of flexibility as the primary argument against that idea.

"The problem with setting up the lab is it's kind of going against the whole purpose of going wireless," Byrne said. "The idea was to create a flexible environment for teachers. If they need these resources they don't have to take them out of the classroom, get them settled in there."

Another issue raised by the board was screen size of the net books. Some members felt a 10 inch screen would be too small an area for students. Board member Steve Kaplan also raised the idea of allowing students to bring their own personal devices into school.

"Before we get into that I'd like to put together all the pluses and minuses of that," Byrne said. "There's some other things to consider as far as what other schools have done. What I'd like to do is put something together on both sides."

The district also plans to expand the district's wireless capabilities beyond its original limits, but without adding cost to the district. According to Byrne, when the district first implemented its wireless system it had excess equipment, which will now be used to expand the current system.

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