New program has students trading in books for laptops

Laptop lockers installed in 2 Duval County schools

By Ashley Mitchem - Reporter, anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The times are changing when it comes to how children learn at school.

In the old days, our school lockers were full of books, but now some area kids' lockers only has a single laptop inside.

Duval County is ahead of the curve. The laptop lockers are the first of their kind in the country. There are 1,000 laptop lockers in total. Some were installed at the Young Men and Young Women’s Leadership Academy and Fletcher Middle School.

Students walked News4Jax reporter Ashley Mitchem through how the lockers work.

“You have your (own) computer, it's yours, with your information on it, without sharing with other people,” eighth grader Alondra Rodriquez said.

When students arrive at school in the morning, they scan their personalized student badge to open the laptop locker. Each student then carries their laptop with them throughout the day to use in their classes. All of their work can be saved and accessed not only from their school laptop, but from anywhere.

“I think that's a huge benefit as we move to very rich online content,” IT executive director Jim Culbert said. “Students, especially middle school students, gravitate to the laptops and online learning available to them.”

Students charge their laptops during lunch, and at the end of each day, they place their laptops back in their locker to charge overnight.

“It gives every student the experience to be prepared,” Young Men and Young Women’s Leadership Academy principal Truitte Mooreland said.

The program allows the school district to maintain a 1 to 1 ratio between middle school students and computers.

Of course, if a student abuses the opportunity or takes another student's laptop or badge, there will be a punishment from school administration.

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