Technology at Sterling High school has been around about as long as Mr. Terry Robson, District Technology Coordinator has worked here. It has developed immensely over the years.
“In the past the majority of my day was spent repairing machines because we had more desktops than laptops. There were a lot of various machine problems,” Robson said. “As technology has advanced more of my issues tend to be software-related, not hardware.”
It seems that newer technology has led to more frequent questions being asked.
“Way more stuff has become available for teachers and students on the internet as far as learning capabilities. I get a lot of questions such as, ‘Why won’t this movie play?’ from teachers and ‘How come I can’t access this site?’ from the students,” Robson said.
Students at SHS have the benefit of having many different outlets that come in the form of technology. Robson is accustomed to working with many different forms of technology.
“Our students and staff have multiple options here,” he said. “We have chromebooks. We have PC laptops. We have Mac laptops. We’ve got desktops. In addition too smart boards and projectors are attached to them.”
Though some people at Sterling High may seem less than satisfied with our technology, there seems to be reason to think more favorably as our school continues to add more technology.
“I’d say we’re probably pretty close in comparison to our league or area schools,” Robson said. “I wouldn’t say we’re miles ahead. In some areas we’re probably ahead. In other’s we’re probably a little behind. Overall though, I’d guess we are very similar to those schools.”
Robson and his assistant Dean Mantz suggest that most devices don’t last very long.
“Laptops and chromebooks only have about a three to five year life in Mr. Mantz’ and my opinion,” he said.
This puts even more emphasis on checking up on the technology from year to year.
“Mr. Mantz and I look at replacing technology as we deem it to be getting old enough to replace,” Robson said. “We want the students working with fully functional technology.”
While the idea of students bringing their own devices to school has been suggested, Robson sees it as something more problematic than beneficial.
“There’s a lot more responsibility involved in allowing students to take devices home, certainly more risk in potential damage,” Robson said. “Mr. Mantz and I are pretty skittish about it. We aren’t sure what viruses, if any students could be bringing to our network.”
According to Robson, our school has more than enough devices.
“If you look at the number of devices we have, we actually have more than one device in this building for every one student there is. With just computers we’re already close to one-to-one,” he said.
It seems our school wouldn’t really benefit from a 1:1 or B.Y.O.D. policy.
“I feel our educational learning environment with our current technology is going pretty well right now,” Robson said. We have supplied what our educational culture needs.”
Robson and Mantz believe technology is something that is needed in today’s learning environment.
“As students learn today and all the myriad of things that they can know and need to know about our world and what’s going on, technology has become vastly important,” they said. “Technology is definitely needed to thrive in our society.”