KEYC interviews superintendent, students for story on TAHS’s aggressive wi-fi expansion
By Per Peterson
They didn’t get to have their hair or makeup professionally done, but Tracy Area High School students Kendra Ludeman and JaRae Lamfers went in front of the camera nonetheless.
KEYC TV in Mankato visited Tracy Area High School on Friday to do a piece on the school’s new bus technology. TAHS was the only school in southwest Minnesota to get a grant to expand wi-fi to its buses.
The grants were announced in January. Because of a cap in funding, only a dozen applications were chosen among 33 school districts — 11 of which are in Greater Minnesota. District 2904 received $30,620 (the school district applied for $32,925) in grant money, and is one of only two districts in the southern third of the state (Shakopee) to receive a grant. The Tracy Area Education Foundation chipped in with $2,000, MinnWest bank committed to a $600/per year donation for the next three years and Ralco donated $500.
TAHS’s technology upgrades don’t stop there. Under the school’s 1:1 technology initiative, all students in grades 7 to 12 have their own laptops.
KEYC reporter Shawn Loging asked Ludeman, a senior, and Lamfers, a sophomore a variety of questions relating to the school’s technology.
Loging first asked Lamfers what beefs she has seen to having her own laptop.
“I have a lot of appointments and I’m gone during the day on car rides, so it’s really helpful to have that so I don’t fall behind,” Lamfers said. “They’re really convenient because you can take them with you.”
Lamfers, who transferred to TAHS from Marshall High School this year, said it’s nice to have her own laptop here, having had one in Marshall before.
“I like it a lot because you don’t have to take so much stuff with you,” she said.
Lamfers said she appreciates having the 4G hotspot and uses it a lot.
Loging asked Ludeman the same questions. The senior, a three-sport athlete, said she likes have the ability to do homework during long bus trips.
“For volleyball and basketball, we have a lot of long trips, or when we go to the Cities, it’s really helpful that you can get all of your assignments done on the bus rides,” she told KEYC.
Ludeman said a lot of today’s homework is online, so it’s helpful to have everything at her fingertips at home and on the bus. She said the teachers are still there for the students to offer assistance, but the mobility wi-fi and laptops offer make it easier for students to keep pace in the classroom.
“You have everything right there on one laptop; you don’t have to bring five binders home” she said. “It’s really helpful to have everything right there.”