CALUMET CITY | Students at the Thornton Fractional high schools in Calumet City and Lansing will have increased educational and information opportunities due to new technology.
Wale Ade, information technology direction in District 215, told the School Board’s IT Committee recently about a change in the content of television available within the high schools in shifting from Comcast to DirecTV.
Comcast wanted to charge the district a fee of $8 to $10 for each television that was to be connected to cable. “We had problems with that,” Ade said. “We have tons of TVs.”
DirecTV does not charge such a fee, and provides the access on multiple screens for free.
In fact, it will be possible for students working on school computers to watch television programs on channels such as Cable News Network, the Food Network and other education-related programming.
Students would not be able to watch programming on their iPhones or iPads.
“All students and staff will have this access,” Ade said.
While Superintendent Creg Williams said he wants an email message sent to all of the district’s students informing them about the option.
Ade also talked about the new apps developed for students with iPhones or Android cellphones that will provide information for students. Students with Windows smartphones will not be able to access the apps.
He said the daily lunch menus in the high school cafeterias will be available on the apps.
The apps also will include the calorie content of all meals, although such information also will be provided on television monitors in the cafeterias where students get in line to purchase lunch.
“The kids want that information," said School Board member Lee Ann Revis. "They hate the idea of getting in line without knowing what is being served.”
Meanwhile, students in a special education program at T.F. South High School now have their own computer laboratory equipped with enough computers for 16 students to work at a time.
T.F. South Principal Judith Whalen said that providing a separate laboratory for the 15 special education students was to ensure that they, too, would have access to computers as part of their classwork.
“It’s just that lab space is at a premium,” she said. “This means that other classes won’t be bumping them out” of other computer labs.