Homewood-Flossmoor High School’s technology staff will be working over the summer to keep computer networks and equipment current.
During its May meeting, Gary Posing, director of Information Services, presented the H-F School Board with a list of recommended improvements. The board approved spending $494,403 to cover the costs for the new equipment and updates.
Posing said each year he looks at the needs of a specific group at H-F. This past school year, he worked with a teachers committee that asked for new display screens that will allow teachers to show multiple tasks.
The solution is installing 24-foot by 6-foot screens in several classrooms that will give teachers the option to have 12 individual screens open at once on the giant display, rather than forcing teachers to go back and forth between pages of a lesson on the one display screen they have now.
The new equipment also has a function that will give students a way to interact with the teacher using their mobile devices.
Posing also will be purchasing 3-D printers for approximately $2,000 each for the Science Department and another in his Information Services Department that will be available to all H-F departments.
Those purchases reflect how technology improvements advance, and the cost comes down, he said. The school has a 3-D printer it purchased just four years ago at a cost of $18,000. That 3-D printer is in the Applied Academics Department. Most of that cost was covered by a grant.
Posing told the board he is always amazed by how students use computers. For example, a computer he bought for student use in science experiments is being used by students in art.
New equipment can also save money. There’s no need to purchase a skull for science classes for $400 when the 3-D printer will allow teachers to print it out and create the skull, he said.
The board agreed to another purchase of 300 Chromebook personal computers. The board purchased 300 Chromebooks in the 2014-15 school year.
The Information Services staff will also be working on upgrading the wireless network.
“We keep replacing so we’re not antiquated,” Posing explained.