School board members from New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender Counties all say the same thing: improving technology in the schools in our area is at the top of the list. But, they also said integrating technology into the classroom is easier said than done. All three counties are moving in the right direction to integrate advanced technology by the year 2020. Brunswick County has set aside half million dollars for new equipment and teacher training. Last month Pender schools received a grant for $1 million to put toward upgrading technology infrastructure. Officials there also plan to apply for grants to help replace thousands of outdated computers. The New Hanover County school board is looking at putting more classes online. New Hanover County Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Dr. Rick Holiday says the important thing is making sure technological upgrades are done right. Holiday said, "The problem is we don't want to get, we don't want the technology to get out ahead of instructional delivery, just because it happens to be online, doesn't mean necessarily that it's good, so we have to monitor that as we are implementing those innovations." The district is also looking into creating an online environment similar to Facebook or MySpace, where students can interact with classmates about school related issues. Improvements in technology are something each of the three local school boards want to accomplish in the future. One downfall is many times upgrades in one area of the school system, like technology, can put strains on budgets for areas like construction and teacher salaries.
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