Julia Roberts Goad
CINDERELLA - Every student in Mingo County schools has access to a laptop computer, County Technology Coordinator Patrick Billips told the Mingo Board of Education.
Billips and Technology Integration Facilitator Virginia Taylor-Mounts gave a presentation to the Board to update them on the state of technology in the county’s schools.
He said the county has been able to put more technology in the hands of students due to lower prices and more generous grant funding.
Students at Mingo high schools received laptops as part of the Global Gateway program, which works to integrate technology into the schools’ curriculums.
Billips said every student now has access to a laptop computer and if they are lost they contain tracking equipment to find them.
“The police have a 99 percent recovery rate so it makes it useless to steal them,” he said.
More than $9.3 million in funds have been provided for improved Internet access at West Virginia schools and libraries through the E-Rate program.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller helped to create the program, which is designed to make certain that every student and adult has access to information technology no matter where they live or what their income.
West Virginia has received more than $150 million in E-Rate awards since Senator Rockefeller created the program by an amendment to the 1996 Telecommunications Act. For 2011, West Virginia schools and libraries received more than $18 million. The E-Rate program is funded through the Universal Service Administrative Corporation (USAC).
The Schools and Libraries Program supports basic telecommunications and connectivity - the conduit or pipeline for communications using telecommunications services and/or the Internet. Funding is requested under two priorities: the first priority focuses on telecommunications services and Internet access; the second priority deals with the basic maintenance of internal connections.
Billips recognized Sen Jay Rockefeller for spearheading e-rate funding for rural WV.