Technology Projects Put
LBUSD on Leading Edge
Students at McBride High use their district-issued tablets to access online resources as they examine a mock crime scene.
Measure K school bonds are allowing the Long Beach Unified School District to offer leading-edge educational technology with district wide projects such as state-of-the art wi-fi, telecommunications, security, clocks, intercom and speaker systems.
The largest and most complex of these projects is the completion of a district wide wi-fi network at 80 schools in the district.
The $20.7 million wi-fi system makes it possible for up to 40 students in each classroom to go online simultaneously, using any computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. The network also enables students to log in to take state-mandated online testing.
“We now have wi-fi hotspots in nearly every classroom in the district,” said Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser. “This opens up almost unlimited possibilities for teachers and students to use online resources as part of instruction and curriculum.”
In new schools, such as McBride High and Nelson Academy, each student and teacher has been issued an iPad for instructional use. Some schools have used grant, categorical or PTA funds to purchase tablet devices, and in other schools, students have been permitted to use their own tablets and smartphones for class projects.
“We are progressing quickly into an environment where instruction can move seamlessly from textbooks to teacher lectures to online resourcing—all working together to expand the classroom to the world outside,” said Steinhauser.
Meanwhile, a new $10 million district wide telecommunication system is being built to bring the network up to modern standards. This includes replacement of the phone switching equipment and the addition of new multi-featured handsets at most sites. With added features and increased reliability, this system is anticipated to save the district thousands of dollars in the future. Completion of this system is estimated to be in spring of 2016.
New intercom, clocks and speaker networks are planned for installation throughout the district. With a centralized digital “brain,” these systems are expected to result in increased reliability and cost savings to the district. Installation of a new district wide security camera system in all high schools is expected to begin later this year. This $8.3 million network will increase the security of students and staff.