WFISD gives parents insight on latest school technology

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Wichita Falls ISD students are seeing more Chromebooks and iPads today than ever before, and only expect to see even more next year.

"We have 9,000 Chromebooks in the district and 4,000 iPads, and we're adding another 7,000 Chromebooks next year to cover 6th through 12th 1-1 and actually 5th through 12th 1-1," said Frank Murray, the director of instructional technology. "K through 4th will be 12 devices per classroom."

For that reason, he said WFISD invited parents to their digital meeting to be transparent and show them their new ways.

"Ways to get notified of what students are doing in classrooms and what they are creating because there is not a lot of worksheets going home anymore," Murray said.  "That's what parents were used to. Getting that worksheet packet and going through it and see what kids made. {Now} they have to look at Skyward to get their kids grade."

Changes like these are the reason nearly 40 parents and guardians like Gloria Leonard, whose grandson is a senior, say they came to learn more of.

"I think it's wonderful because it allows the parents access early on to the things that are going on in the classroom, to be able to help their students," Leonard said. "I think it's just wonderful to be here in a city this size and have this amount of technology available for students."

Murray also said having tests and quizzes online helps teachers save time and get results out quicker.

A new tool that Leonard said as a student herself, she knows firsthand how these students will benefit from it.

"When I take my classes and I click submit, I just stand there and think what's the grade," Leonard said. "It comes right up, well then that student has feedback right away."

During the meeting a few parents were concerned that more technology could lead to distraction for students so Murray introduced everyone to, Go Guardian.

A software that allows teachers to monitor students Chromebooks as they work on assignments.

That software also lets students ask their teacher questions while they're working on an assignment through a chat room.

WFISD streamed their meeting live on YouTube and uploaded the video to their YouTube channel.

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