Florence District One students to receive laptops as part of initiative

Leticia Fonseca, Sylvia Fonseca
One Pee Dee school district is making strides in connecting students to technology in the classroom

Story note: Video from this story contains footage from the Darlington County School District that is already using a 1-to1 initiative. 

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – One Pee Dee school district is making strides in connecting students to technology in the classroom.

‘It’s just a great opportunity to see the difference between a traditional classroom into a more interactive classroom,” said Jayne Boswell.

Boswell, the Director of Instructional Technology for Florence One said she’s ready to get the district’s 1-to-1 initiative up and running, and get more students connected to a growing digital world.

“I think our kids are digital learners and yet in our classrooms today we don’t have enough devices for every child to have access,” Boswell said.

That led Florence One leaders to apply for and receive a grant to fund a pilot program that provides laptops to students. Two schools, Southside Middle and South Florence High School, will be the first included in the program.

“It’s a great place to start with middle and high school, as far as preparing them for tomorrow’s world, so we are excited,” she said.

Students will pay a $30 fee and can even take the devices home during the school year. District officials said the initiative will allow students to access textbooks and other instructional material. They’ll also receive training on internet safety as part of the program, which Boswell said makes many parents happy.

“The parents are very supportive,” she said. “I think they’d like to have one of those devices.”

Florence One’s technology initiative will also go beyond the 1-to-1 initiative to bring wireless access to every classroom in every school in the district.

“We’re just days away from being able to accomplish that,” said Kyle Jones, the districts Information Technology Manager. “We have totally completed our secondary locations and we’re now finishing out our primary locations.”

In the hope that, one day, every Florence One student can have a computer of his or her own.

“We’ll be able to do what we’re doing at South Florence and Southside anywhere in our district,” Jones explained. “We’re looking forward to students getting to utilize those in the classroom.”

Students at the two schools will get their computers later this month.