PT students request updated technology in schools

Published May 21, 2013 at 12:29 pm (Updated May 21, 2013 at 12:29 pm)

Peters Township High School senior Chase Maszle and sophomores Nate Doughty and Gregory Oleynik will eventually live and work in a world where technology plays a major role. And, as such, the trio would like to have the latest technology available during their educational years. That advanced technology is not currently available to students at the high school, the three told members of the school board during a meeting May 20.

Students, they said, are finding long re-boot times, and slow, antiquated computers that restrict students’ ability to learn and to work.

“This is becoming a huge issue,” Maszle said, citing the ages of some computers at five to six years or older. He said his personal computer, which he treats “well,” lasted only three and a half years. Maszle presented a petition signed by 700 high school students requesting a four-year-replacement plan to be implemented in the upcoming 2013-14 school budget.

He also told the board the computers do not do well on virtual cloud servers.

Doughty said the high school uses more technology for education than any other district building, and that money is needed to upgrade and to expand. A 15-minute re-boot takes too much time out of a 41-minute class, Doughty told the board.

Availability is also a concern, as there are not a sufficient number of computers available in some classrooms.

“We’re not learning as much about new technology as the software is outdated,” Doughty said. And, he said, a lack of computers cuts into the online classes offered in the district.

Oleynik is also concerned about the need to update software.

“Students are being taught old skills,” he said, citing the need for updated Adobe Photoshop programs, among others.

The possibility of leasing equipment was discussed briefly.

The board took no action on including additional money in the upcoming budget talks with members, saying only the matter would be addressed during discussions regarding the technology budget.

The tentative 2013-14 school budget was passed May 20, including a technology budget of $1,138,486. Adoption of the final budget is set for 7:30 p.m. June 24. The board will discuss the final budget during an open meeting at a 6:30 p.m. meeting June 10.

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