Graham ISD the Newest District to Get Apple Laptops

It's been in the making for years and finally last week it all paid off, when hundreds of students from Graham ISD got a taste of how it is have their own laptop.

Graham ISD is now one of a few area schools to give all their high school students Apple Macbooks.

It's through the Apple Laptop Program schools enlist in.  It does cost a lot of money, but districts see it as the next step in education.

It's been about a week since all 718 Macbooks were handed out and so far students have handled it with ease.

"It makes it a lot easier to carry everything at once instead of having multiple folders," said Briana Harvell, a Graham senior.

"It's just like a big privilege for us to have them with the school spending all their money
and having to trust us with them," said Kennedy Huckobey, a Graham senior.

Briana and Kennedy are high school seniors who for the past week have been learning more and more about their new computers.

For the computers and a wireless network throughout the high school Graham Independent School District forked out more than a million dollars.  But now that the Macbooks are in the hands of students, administrators say they have noticed a difference.

"It made them eager to get into class, open it up, and get started," said Christian Sanders with the Graham ISD Technology Department.

That's exactly what happened, with both teachers and students.  And now that everyone has a Macbook, textbooks in classrooms are becoming a thing of the past.

"The teachers also have technology that they use that's up on the board.  They can project their laptop onto a board and control their laptop from a board and the students can watch that and take notes on their laptop," said Sanders.

For Briana having her own personal laptop not only means she doesn't have to lug around a 30 pound backpack, but it's also makes it easier for her to get her work done.

"In my Anatomy class instead of making graphs with graph paper we just have to put the information into a word and it transfers it into an Excel and makes it for us," she said.

The district is definitely a step ahead of the crowd and even so they're still planning for the future.

"Next is to more fully integrate what we're doing and make it seamless in how teachers and students are able to work with the computers," said Sanders.

There are other districts in Texoma that are a part of the Apple Laptop Program, but Graham is the latest to sign on.

They signed up for nine years with the program and for every three, they plan on buying new laptops and then selling the old ones back.  At the end of the year students do have to return the laptops.

Graham Superintendent Beau Rees says they were able to purchase the laptops through money from a bond the school received and through saving money from their maintenance operation fund.

Crystal Hall News Channel6